Job satisfaction statistics

The most important and up-to-date job satisfaction facts from the UK and globally
 
Andrew Fennell Andrew Fennell | Nov 2021

Job satisfaction plays a very important role in the workplace for both employees and businesses.

Staff who are happy in their jobs will have a better quality of life than those who aren’t, and businesses who keep their staff happy will often see a plethora of positive effects in the workplace.

In this study we’ve dug out all of the latest and most important job satisfaction statistics from across the web, to find out who is really satisfied in their work, what that means, and how it affects the business landscape in the UK and across the world in 2021.

 

 

Key job satisfaction statistics

  • Over half of full-time employed people are currently looking for a new job with better pay.
  • Men report higher overall job satisfaction than women, with men scoring 10% higher satisfaction scores in surveys.
  • Happy staff will stay with their employers 7 times longer than unhappy employees.
  • Dissatisfied employees will waste an average of £2,732 per person (in recruitment costs) when compared with happy staff.
  • The most common reasons for feeling dissatisfied at work are; “feeling undervalued” and “lack of respect from management”
  • Only 17% of British workers claim to love their job.
  • Over half of millennials have left a job because they felt the employer’s values did not align with their own.
  • Teacher is voted as the world’s most rewarding job, and recruitment consultant is the world’s most stressful job.

 

Job satisfaction by country

Which countries have the most and least satisfied workers, and what are the driving factors behind this?

 

Job satisfaction statistics

 

Countries with highest job satisfaction

According to a 2020 survey of over 13,000 employees by global recruiting firm Ranstad, India has the happiest employees in the world, with Mexico and Turkey coming in 2nd and 3rd respectively.

Country % of very satisfied employees
India 89
Mexico 85
Turkey 80
Norway 79
USA 78
Denmark 78
Spain 77
Argentina 75
Brazil 74
China 74

*The UK ranks number 12 in this survey, below Canada and above Malaysia.

 

Countries with lowest job satisfaction

The same Ranstad survey found the following countries to have the lowest levels of job satisfaction.

Country % of very dissatisfied employees
Japan 21
Hong Kong 11
Singapore 10
Hungary 10
Czech Republic 8
Greece 8
Sweden 10
France 12
Portugal 14
New Zealand 10

 

Although many people would expect to see the wealthier and developed countries topping the job satisfaction tables, this isn’t always the case. Where many of these countries offer high paying roles in comfortable surroundings, they often come with high pressure from management and long hours, causing stress and resentment.

India is leading the way in job satisfaction, whereas Japan has the least satisfied workers by quite some way, which may be due to its reputation for placing high expectations on its employees.

 

More country job satisfaction statistics

  • 1 in 10 UK employees would consider moving to another country to improve their work-life balance.
  • 64% of US employees are unhappy with the amount of paid time-off they receive.
  • Globally 74% of workers claim to be satisfied with their jobs.
  • According to a recent UK YouGov poll only 17% of British workers love their job.
  • More half of UK employees class themselves as being unhappy at work according to Personal Group

 

Which countries’ employees get the most holidays?

  • France offers its employees the most paid time-off with a minimum of 30 days holiday entitlement and 11 paid public holidays
  • The USA offers the least paid time off with zero minimum holiday entitlement and zero paid public holidays.

 

Job satisfaction by profession

Which jobs have the most satisfied employees and why?

 

Job satisfaction statistics UK

 

Jobs with highest job satisfaction globally

According to Glassdoor’s latest employee satisfaction data, taken from scores provided by thousands of users, the following jobs have the most satisfied workers.

This data takes into account a wide range of job factors from salary and career progression, to work culture and commute time.

Job Job satisfaction score
Recruiting Manager 4.6
Dental Hygienist 4.5
Sales Operations Manager 4.5
Product Designer 4.5
Marketing Assistant 4.3
Construction Manager 4.3
Brand Manager 4.3
Data Scientist 4.3
Customer Success Manager 4.2
HR Coordinator 4.2

 

Jobs with highest job satisfaction UK

Glassdoor also published UK specific data from their user base to identify Britain’s most satisfied job titles.

Job Job satisfaction score
Customer Success Manager 4.9
Sales Representative 4.6
Audit Manager 4.5
Managing Partner 4.4
Recruiter 4.4
Marketing Assistant 4.4
Recruiting Manager 4.3
Engagement Manager 4.3
Research Fellow 4.3
Hotel Manager 4.3

 

Most rewarding & fulfilling jobs

Feeling fulfilled in your work and knowing that your job carries a strong purpose, plays a big part in job satisfaction. According to data published by job board aggregator Indeed, these are the top 10 most rewarding jobs, when other job description factors (like salary and progression) are not taken into account.

Job title Most rewarding position
Teacher 1
Counsellor 2
Athletic Trainer 3
Paramedic 4
Firefighter 5
Detective 6
Chaplain 7
Dietician 8
Chiropractor 9
Human Resources Manager 10

 

Further job satisfaction by profession statistics

  • Only 1 in 5 Americans are passionate about their occupation
  • 27% of Brits think they would be happier in a different line of work
  • One third of web developers globally are very satisfied with their work
  • 81% of people in the legal profession find their work “boring”.
  • Careers that require a formal education are much likelier to make employees happiest

 

Most stressful jobs in the UK

Stress levels can make a or break a person’s enjoyment of a job – the survey from CareerBuilder shows the 7 most stressful job in the UK.

Job Stress factors
Recruitment Consultant Sales targets, long hours
Lawyer Pressure, long hours
Teacher Ofsted inspections, behaviour issues
Nurse Long shifts, Physical strain, patient sympathy
Bank Trader Long hours, sales targets
Head Chef Unsociable hours, customer complaints
IT Helpdesk Staff Rude customers, targets

 

Job satisfaction by industry

In addition to a person’s profession, the industry they work within can also affect job satisfaction hugely. Profession is often linked to industry, but is not always – For example an accountant who works for hospital would be considered to be working within the healthcare industry, as opposed to finance.

A survey from salary benchmarking site Emolument revealed the top 10 industries in the UK where staff felt most satisfied (regardless of job title).

  1. Human resources
  2. Technology & Telecoms
  3. Engineering
  4. Sales
  5. Public Sector & Education
  6. Marketing & Communications
  7. Consulting
  8. Software Development
  9. Media & Gaming
  10. Financial Services

 

Job satisfaction through the years (1987 – present)

A detailed study from non-profit research group The Conference Room, shows that job satisfaction levels have been steadily climbing since 2008 through to recent years. However, they still have not reached the high levels of satisfaction seen in 1987.

Job satisfaction statistics over the years

Image source: The Conference Room

 

Office work VS manual

  • Physically demanding work such as labouring or skilled trades is twice as rewarding as office based work or other static roles.
  • 8 of the top 10 most hated jobs in the UK are office based roles.

Source: Quartz

 

Job satisfaction by company

The company you work for will obviously play a huge role in how happy you are at work – here are some of the best and worst companies to work for.

 

Companies with the happiest employees globally

Comparably.com carried out a survey of over 10 million employer ratings to discover which companies had the happiest employees globally.

  1. Zoom – Video communications
  2. Hubspot – Marketing software
  3. Microsoft – Office software
  4. Ring Central – Home security
  5. Apple – Consumer electronics
  6. Google – Search engine
  7. SBA Communications – Property investment
  8. UiPath – Software
  9. ADP – Payroll
  10. Farmers insurance – Financial services

 

Companies with the happiest employees UK

Data from Glassdoor shows us that the following companies are voted the top 10 to work for in the UK in 2021.

  1. SaleForce – CRM software
  2. Microsoft – Office software
  3. Abcam – Biotech
  4. Google – Search engine
  5. SoftCat – IT infrastructure
  6. GTB – Banking
  7. Apple – Consumer electronics
  8. Bella Italia – Restaurant
  9. SAP – HR software
  10. Meta – Social media

 

Companies with the unhappiest employees

In contrast to the two tables above, these are companies where people are the unhappiest at work, according to Blind.

Company % of unhappy workers
WeWork – Office space 70
JP Morgan – Banking 69
Symantec – Software 68
Visa – Financial Services 66
Qualcomm – Electronics 66
Intuit – Finance software 65
Oracle – Technology 63
Grab – Ridesharing 63
eBay – Online auction 63
NVIDIA – Technology 61

 

Job satisfaction by age

Job satisfaction amongst 18-25 year old people is the lowest, and this slowly increases with age until the end of the average person’s working life.

 

Job satisfaction by age

 

This is likely due to the fact that entry level roles often involve relatively basic work and employees will not have much influence or decision making power in their early career. As people progress through their career and become involved in more enjoyable work, their satisfaction increases until they begin to become less interested in work as they approach retirement age.

 

Millennial job satisfaction

With millennials fast becoming a force to be reckoned with in the workplace.. what makes them tick and keeps them happy?

  • 45% of millennials are happy in their current job.
  • 72% of millennials class “having a job with meaning” as the most important factor in their work
  • Only 3 in 10 millennials say that salary is the most important factor when choosing to accept a job offer
  • Over half of millennials have left a job because they felt the employer’s values did not align with their own.
  • 1 in 2 millennials claim that their job has a negative impact on their mental health.
  • 60% of millennials prioritise employers who will allow them to travel whilst being employed.

 

Job satisfaction in Men VS Women

Are men or women happiest in the workplace? A study carried out by business consultancy Talent Intelligence & Insight HR, found the following:

  • Men report higher overall job satisfaction than women, with men scoring 10% higher satisfaction scores overall
  • 80% of women place high importance on work-life balance, whereas only 62% of men say work-life balance is important to them.
  • Men are twice as likely to be satisfied with opportunities for promotion and progression available to them.
  • Women’s job satisfaction decreases by 20% as they move from mid-level to senior level in their careers – men’s remains constant.
  • 73% of women are unhappy with management opportunities available to females.

 

Remote work job satisfaction

With remote work becoming the “new normal” for the foreseeable future, what are the latest stats on job satisfaction within remote working.

  • 58% of office-based job applicants now expect to some element of remote work available when applying to a new role in 2021.
  • People who can work remotely at least once per month are 4 times as likely to be happy and productive.
  • 8 in 10 employees feel that working remotely reduces stress.

 

In addition to the positives above, there are also some negatives being reported from the world of remote work.

  • 22% of remote workers find it hard to create boundaries and unplug from work at the end of the day.
  • 4 in 5 employees find video conferencing meetings stressful.

 

Covid impact on job satisfaction

Covid brought about huge changes across the workplace globally, but how has it affected job satisfaction in 2021?

  • 38% of employees who kept the same job, are now happier with their jobs than they were pre Covid 19
  • A third of employees claim that their job has become harder after the pandemic

 

Pay & rewards

Money is an important but often un-talked-about element of job satisfaction – so, how is it affecting employees?

  • Over half of employed people are currently looking for a new job with better pay.
  • 64% of British workers would rather have a low-paid job they loved, than a high-paid job which they did not enjoy.
  • 43% of full-time employees would leave their job for a 10% pay rise.

 

How job satisfaction affects employers

We know that job satisfaction is extremely important to employees, but what affects does it have on employers and their bottom line.

  • Happy staff will stay with their employers 7 times longer than unhappy employees.
  • Dissatisfied employees will waste an average of £2,732 per person when compared with happy staff – this includes recruiting costs like job adverts and interviews.
  • Unhappy employees will be twice as likely to turn down overtime or increased responsibilities.
  • Satisfied employees who refer new hires will reduce hiring costs by 42%
  • Companies who offer remote work see a 25% reduction in staff turnover, compared to those who do not.

 

Sources

The above analysis was conducted by studying the following sources from a range of reputable sources across the web.

Ranstad –  job satisfaction by country survey – https://cdn2.hubspot.net/hubfs/481927/Randstad

Holiday Allowances – Edays – https://www.e-days.com/news/how-holiday-entitlement-is-taken-across-europe

WeForum – Job Satisfaction survey – https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2020/12/job-satisfaction-boss-colleagues/

Glassdoor Job type satisfaction survey – https://www.glassdoor.co.uk/blog/uk-jobs-highest-satisfaction-2019/

Indeed – most rewarding careers – https://www.indeed.com/career-advice/finding-a-job/most-rewarding-careers

CareerBuilder – Most stressful jobs – https://advice.careerbuilder.co.uk/posts/8-high-stress-jobs-is-yours-on-this-list

YouGov – Wage work/life balance poll – https://yougov.co.uk/topics/politics/articles-reports/2017/08/03/love-wage-balance-how-many-brits-their-job-and-the

Forbes – Employee engagement – https://www.forbes.com/sites/nazbeheshti/2019/01/16/10-timely-statistics-about-the-connection-between-employee-engagement-and-wellness/

Real Business – Staff happiness by industry and country – https://realbusiness.co.uk/sme-job-satisfaction-staff-happiness-by-industry-country-company-size

PressWire – Job satisfaction over 2 decades – https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/poll-job-satisfaction-climbs-to-highest-level-in-over-two-decades-300909167.html

Incentive and Motivation – Unhappiest employees – https://incentiveandmotivation.com/half-uk-employees-unhappy-workplace/

Comparably – Happiest Employees – https://www.comparably.com/news/happiest-employees-2020/

Glassdoor – Best places to work – https://www.glassdoor.co.uk/Award/Best-Places-to-Work-UK-LST_KQ0,22.htm

Business Insider – Companies with least happiest employees – https://www.businessinsider.com/companies-with-the-least-happy

Talent Engine – Men or women happier at work – https://www.talentintelligence.com/blog/are-men-or-women-happier-at-work

In her sight – men and women work happiness – https://www.inhersight.com/ges-findings

Flex Jobs – Remote work study – https://www.flexjobs.com/blog/post/remote-work-statistics/