It is a question often asked: are you happy at your job? Seems simple enough, yet job happiness is hard to define. From 2006-2012 Gallup World Polls collected data trying to understand how happy the world is. The World Happiness Report then pulled the data and created an in depth analysis of the current climate of job satisfaction around the globe. Their findings suggest that employees are happiest in jobs that not only pay well, but are also challenging and dynamic.
Factors Affecting Job Happiness
In the report, the researchers explain that money is not the only important factor in workplace satisfaction.
“As might be expected, we find that those in well-paying jobs are happier…but a number of further aspects of people’s jobs are strongly predictive of varied measures of well-being. Work-life balance emerges as a particularly strong predictor of people’s happiness. Further factors include job variety and the need to learn new things, as well the level of individual autonomy enjoyed by the employee.”
Another variable that affects job happiness is status. Employees in a “professional” position reported they were less likely to experience “negative affective states” compared to other job types. Serving as a manager, or other high-level position creates a greater level of job satisfaction.
One of the other key components of this study showed that a separation between work and personal life affects happiness. “Workers who report that their job interferes with their ability to spend time with their partner and family, as well as those who ‘bring their job home’ with them report systematically lower levels of subjective wellbeing.”
The type and content of a job also highly affects employee satisfaction. While this seems like common sense, it is often hard to see how the type of career you are in may be negatively impacting your life. When it’s a job you’ve had for a long time, or it is in the field you think is best suited for you, it can be especially difficult.
The report shows that people who work in jobs that “entail high levels of variety” are more happy overall. A job that is stagnant doesn’t challenge its employees, and therefore is unsatisfactory. It is important to find a balance between challenging and overly-stressful, however. Structure and organization is highly important in this case to prevent a chaotic environment.
How Tech Jobs Compare
In recent years, tech careers have become increasingly popular. With the rise of big-name companies like Google, as well as startups like Lyft, the tech world is expanding. Tech companies are now known for providing unique perks to employees that aren’t offered in other fields.
Companies like Instagram, Facebook and Buzzfeed, among others, are well-known for providing their employees with delicious meals, wellness opportunities, and community gatherings. Many tech companies hire someone whose sole job is to ensure the happiness of all employees.
Added perks like free food, and even free haircuts, are still supplemental to the satisfaction that comes from working in an industry that is inherently active. As the World Happiness Report showed, people are more happy when employed in complex careers. Because tech is constantly evolving and changing it is naturally a challenging field to work in. It also often presents opportunities for collaboration. Many employees reported feeling more satisfied when they felt as though they were closely involved in a community work environment.