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Which UK workers are happiest?

Kerry Hull

Kerry Hull | Marketing Manager

Monday 5th Mar, 2018

Can limited company contractors ensure greater happiness levels for themselves than regular nine-to-five workers?

How happy would you say you are in your current job? If you work in marketing, communications or advertising, you're apparently much more likely to be satisfied with your role than other professionals, according to the results of a recent survey.

One4all Rewards has published 'The 2018 Happiness Survey', which saw marketing, comms and advertising workers rate their overall happiness at work at an average score of 8.13 out of 10, making them the cheeriest professionals of all.

But if you're not quite as satisfied as this with your current role, could taking your career destiny into your own hands and setting up on your own as a limited company contractor? Let's take a look.

Who is happiest with their jobs?

On average, UK workers ranked their happiness levels with their jobs at 6.81 out of ten, with almost one-quarter (22 per cent) of those questioned rating their job satisfaction as coming in at eight out of ten.

Overall, men were found to be slightly more content in their current positions than women, with male job happiness ranking at an average of 6.85 out of ten, compared to 6.78 for their female counterparts.

In addition, older workers tended to report higher levels of happiness at work, with over-55s collectively scoring their satisfaction levels at 6.91 out of ten, which was the highest combined rating of any age group.

Alan Smith, UK Managing Director at One4all Rewards, explained that the variation in the results means there can be no one-size-fits-all approach to make sure all workers are happy.

"For example, those aged 55 and over are happier than any other age group, but interestingly, they are also amongst the most likely to believe that the nature of the work they do plays the most key role in their morale at work, putting more emphasis on this than salary, bonuses, annual leave or anything more tangible," Mr Smith continued.

"This is a factor for other age groups, but it's only those aged 45 and over who prioritise this above salary."

So, as there can be no single solution to improving all workers' happiness levels, you might just have to take things into your own hands.

How to boost your job happiness

The 2018 Happiness Survey found that the number one factor influencing UK workers' happiness was their pay rate, with 38 per cent ranking this as a priority. For those who believe that more pay would make them happy, working as a limited company contractor could offer a solution. These workers are able to set their own competitive pay rates, charging exactly what they feel access to their skills is worth, rather than having this decided by someone else.

Meanwhile, more than one-third (34 per cent) of respondents rated the nature of their work as an important factor influencing their happiness and, again, this is something that contractors can have a lot more power over than more traditionally employed nine-to-five workers. Limited company contractors can make sure they are working in a field they are 100 per cent passionate about, making them more likely to be happy at work as a result.

Another factor found to be having a significant impact on UK workers' happiness levels was the option to work flexibly, which 29 per cent cited as important. With the opportunity to choose their own working hours, days and location, contractors have much more flexibility than most over their jobs, meaning they can create a work-life balance that suits their individual circumstances perfectly.