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Within the past few weeks, two studies examining the subject of happiness in the workplace have been released. And interestingly enough, the results were completely different.
The first results, the product of a collaboration between PARADE magazine and Yahoo! Finance, were announced on August 29, 2012. The Job Happiness Poll from PARADE/Yahoo! Finance revealed that nearly 60% would chose a different career. The poll was based on responses from more than 26,000 people currently employed in the workplace.
A summary of the key results are posted here, courtesy of digitriad.com:
If you could do it all over again, would you choose the same career you’re in now?
Yes – 41%
No – 59%
Would you fire your boss if you could?
Yes – 35%
No – 65%
What would you improve first: Your commute or your workspace?
Commute – 38%
Workspace – 62%
Would you rather have a 5% raise or two more weeks of vacation?
Raise – 56%
Vacation – 44%
Would you be friends with your colleagues if you didn’t work with them?
Yes – 51%
No – 49%
How do people really get ahead on the job?
Hard work – 27%
Initiative – 18%
Creativity – 4%
Internal politics – 51%
How often do you bring work home with you?
Every day – 13%
Often – 24%
Rarely – 36%
Never – 26%
What best describes your mood on Sunday night?
Excitement – 6%
Neutral – 51%
Minor dread – 34%
Despair – 9%
Meanwhile, the folks at Gallup have another poll that serves as a fairly direct contrast to the findings in the PARADE/Yahoo! Finance survey. On the September 6, 2012 Marketplace Morning Report, Frank Newport, editor-in-chief at Gallup reviewed the results in the latest installment of “Attitude Check,” a partnership between Marketplace and the polling firm. Newport explained,
“Forty-seven percent of Americans are completely satisfied with their jobs. Another 42% are somewhat satisfied. You put that together–you’ve only got about one out of 10 Americans who tell us at any rate, who are working, that they’re dissatisfied.” Newport said that in 1989, only 28% were completely satisfied with their jobs.
Newport said Gallup pollsters broke down satisfaction into 13 separate categories and asked people whether they were completely satisfied with those parts of their jobs. It turns out the thing that Americans are least satisfied with are on-the-job stress–only 29%.
What workers are most happy with? According to Newport: The physical safety of workplace conditions, and intangible things like coworkers–and interestingly, their bosses.
Where does your workplace fit? Is the glass half empty (as in the PARADE/Yahoo! Finance poll)? Or is it half full (as in the Marketplace/Gallup poll)?