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Office blues

Surveys show that UK workers are unhappy in their jobs

Office workers in the UK are not happy, according to a survey carried out by recruitment consultancy Badenoch & Clark. The Happiness at Work Index surveyed more than 1,000 office workers and showed there was a divide between men and women - 28 per cent of men are unhappy at work, compared with 22 per cent of women.

Neil Wilson, managing director of Badenoch & Clark said: "Employers need to be aware that a significant number of their employees are currently unhappy at work, possibly even contemplating a change in companies."

"Attracting and retaining talent is one of the biggest challenges facing UK management, particularly in markets where skills are in high demand. It's essential that employers understand what motivates and enthuses their workforce," he said.

The happiest employees are in Bristol, with 59 per cent reporting job satisfaction, and Manchester scored the lowest with only 37 per cent happy.

Despite a culture of long hours that saw 25 per cent of those questioned expected to start early or work late, London also scored highly in the happiness index, with 56 per cent of workers in the Capital saying they liked their work.

This has been contradicted by another recent survey commissioned by and conducted by research firm, YouGov. It found a quarter of British workers are disillusioned in their jobs, with one in three Londoners trapped in a job they hate. This compared with 27 per cent in the North and 24 per cent in the South unhappy in their job. Workers in the Midlands and Wales are the happiest, with only two out of 10 citing unhappiness at work.

Another recent survey published by research firm, FDS, also showed UK workers were among the least content. Salary and long working hours were the main bones of contention, with French workers the most unhappy and Irish workers the happiest. The survey involved 14,000 employees in 23 countries.

The Global Workforce Index 2006 survey, published late last year, showed that 14 per cent of science and pharmaceutical employees were unhappy. The survey sought the views of approximately 70,000 people in 28 countries including almost 6,000 in the UK.

In brief

Audio training
More than 70 per cent of a sales reps spend their time on the road, driving from one client to another, and at present this results in unproductive time. UK company, Logisitical Sales Audio, has a way to make use of this spare time, by providing audio recordings of all types of meetings from sales, technical and training meetings to conferences. As a result, all the information from lost training time can be replayed in order so keep reps focused on their companyís priorities, product knowledge and sales techniques.

The buck stops
Line managers have once again been criticised by the Chartered Institute of Personnel Development (CIPD) after research revealed that they are interested only in managing their staff to further their careers. Research from Cubiks, a development firm, showed that most staff wanted people management responsibilities, so they could get involved in making decisions about the company. Almost 50 per cent of the 137 managers asked said they spent less than 10 per cent of their time discussing staff performance. The CIPD found that four in 10 firms believe their line managers are not effective.

11th June 2007


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