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Unhappy at Work?

Who’s to blame?

What are you like on your way to work? Is there a spring in your step – a song in your heart? Or do you have to drag one foot in front of the other, dreading the drudgery of the day you face?

A survey by Gallup last year discovered nearly 70% of employees feel actively disengaged.  Whatever ‘disengaged’ might mean, clearly almost three-quarters of the working population are not as happy as they could be with their jobs. So what’s to be done? How should our employers be improving our sense of engagement, our job satisfaction and sense of well-being in the workplace? A pay rise wouldn’t go amiss … or maybe a promotion or two. How about more perks? Or could it be that these are the wrong questions? Should we instead be taking a long look in that early morning mirror?

How do we define workplace happiness?

There are three main factors which impact how happy UK employees are at work

  • pride in their organisation
  • being treated with fairness and respect
  • feeling appreciated

Isn’t it interesting how ‘a fat pay cheque’ isn’t included on the list?

These three factors are all down to the employer to sort out? Right? Wrong. There’s plenty that you can do to help yourself to up the happiness quotient. One way is via goal setting. It’s an established fact that this strategy is vital for overall carer progression. But – by setting goals which tackle each of the three factors above, you can regain some control over your productivity and job satisfaction.

Professional goals for happiness in the workplace

  1. The positive psychology of achieving a good work–life balance
    With a poor work–life balance, your mental and physical wellbeing can both suffer. 44% of UK businesses are improving staff retention by offering flexible working and impacting positively on work–life balance.Clearly, home working isn’t possible for every job. However, with a little imagination, it might work better than you realise. Talk to your employer. He may well be sceptical but maybe he’d listen to the proposal of a trial period. It’s then down to you to demonstrate that your productivity improves.
  • Try promising to yourself (and your long-suffering family!) that you’ll take your full holiday allocation, spreading this out throughout the year.
  • Start taking lunch breaks away from the office – certainly away from your desk.
  • Leave the office on time.Any of these will, in their own small but significant way, have a positive effect on your happiness and productivity at work.
  1. Get involved in workplace social activities

Research shows that 62% of happy professionals have good friends at work and 81% get along with those on their immediate team. With a friendly and communicative team, company culture stays productive and will really boost your sense of engagement. Try arranging a weekly team lunch or monthly activity that everyone can enjoy. Make a real effort to form new friendships and see how much of a difference it can make.

  1. Your principles vs. company core values – do they match?

Your workplace happiness can depend a lot on how you feel about the corporate culture. One of the biggest factors for happiness at work as a sense of pride in the organisation. This can fuel that all-important “feel good” attitude within the workplace.

If you find yourself disagreeing with your employer’s core values or the values of the brand you represent while at work, maybe you could think about seeking a new role which better aligns with your own personal values.

  1. Involve yourself in projects outside of your comfort zone

Workplace happiness certainly increases when work is interesting and meaningful. Don’t let others dictate your career development. Put yourself forward for the tasks or projects that inspire you. Set yourself new development goals which force you away from your comfort zone. As Paul Coelho famously wrote –

“A boat is safe in the harbour. But that’s not what boats are for.”

  1. Extend your skill set

There’s no better way to boost your sense of satisfaction at work than by learning new skills. Maybe you could go on a course – gain a qualification or two. This will not only bring greater job satisfaction but might also bring you a promotion.

  1. Make thoughtful contributions

You’ll do your sense of well-being no harm if you can develop the confidence to make yourself heard – in a positive way. In team meetings, don’t be shy about offering a point of view, in a positive way. This doesn’t mean pushing yourself forward as a yes-man. Neither should you be arguing against every single proposal. But, by offering your point of view in a constructive appropriate way will help your self-esteem … and get you noticed by team leaders, for the best of reasons!

Would you like help in finding an accountancy position that will match both your career goal and your values? Are you looking for a new opportunity that will bring you greater job satisfaction? Then do call. We’re the accountancy recruitment specialists and we’d love to help.


Call 0333 577 7787.

Email –

Or complete our submission form.


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