Are Workers Happy in Their Jobs?
Most workers are happy at their jobs, but stress and burnout levels remain high.
Those are among the key findings in new research from The Hartford.
Their 2023 Future of Benefits Study showed that 84% of U.S. workers are at least somewhat happy at work.
- 9% of workers said they were extremely happy at work
- 31% were very happy
- 44% said they were somewhat happy
- 16% said they were not happy
The Hartford polled 1,100 workers and 500 employers and HR professionals for the study.
“It is encouraging to see most workers are happy in their jobs, but employers must take note of the burnout trend,” said Jonathan Bennett, head of group benefits at The Hartford.
Ninety-two percent of surveyed workers said they try to do their job well or go above and beyond.
At the same time, 60% said they experienced some level of burnout.
57% said workers at their company typically work more than 40 hours a week, 51% said they’re expected to be available after normal working hours, and another 34% said they feel pressured to be available.
“We are in a unique era in the world of work as employers and workers navigate shifting workplace models to discover what will be the new normal,” Bennett said.
The report found that work-life balance is one of the top priorities for workers.
Aside from salary, the top three factors for workplace happiness are paid time off (37%), work-life balance (29%), and a sense of accomplishment (27%).
Creating work-life balance was the focus of 46% of employers, while 43% said providing good employee benefits, and 39% said improving company culture was their priority.
Future of the Workplace
With companies looking at the future of their workplace models, researchers polled workers and employers on remote work versus in-person.
Sixty-three percent of employers require employees to come to the workplace more frequently, but 53% believe their employees would prefer to work remotely full-time.
However, only 21% of workers said this was their preference.
One-quarter (25%_ preferred being in a physical workplace full-time and more than half preferred to be in person one-to-four days per week.
A big reason for these preferences is the importance of personal connections.
Researchers found 69% of workers say strong connections with co-workers are important.
And more in-person (71%) and hybrid (67%) workers reported having strong personal connections compared to remote workers (59%).
The report found that U.S. workers feel stress about household finances, and that affects productivity for some.
Three quarters of workers reported feeling at least somewhat stressed about their household finances, with 39% saying they are very or extremely stressed.
Thirty percent of workers said their financial health affects their productivity.
That’s compared to the impacts of mental health (24%) and physical health (18%).
“Companies that have benefits and programs in place to support the personal and professional wellbeing of their employees will foster a happy, healthy, and productive workforce that can help their company thrive,” Bennett said.
Most workers say they’re happy with employer-provided benefits, while 79% value their insurance benefits and 64% trust their company makes the best possible decisions when it comes to benefits.
That’s a 5% increase over 2022.
And 72% say their benefits have at least a moderate impact on their decision to stay with their current company.
However, 68% of employers feel their employees don’t utilize the benefits and programs available to them.
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