Study Finds Reasons Employees Are Happy

A nice and healthy work space, work flexibility and physical wellness programs are top keys to employee happiness.

A study from Mindspace of 5,000 people in seven countries, including the U.S., found more than half (54%) said they are happy most of the time at work. Thirty percent are very happy.

Ninety-four percent of employees in the U.S. are happy or mostly happy—the most of all countries in which employees were surveyed.

In general, men report being happier at work more than women do. Millennials are significantly happier than people in their 40s and 50s. Managers and business owners are happier than employees who are not owners or managers.

As for what makes employees happy, the study found 75% of very happy people have a strong sense of purpose at their job, and 90% of very happy people feel very valued. Ninety percent of happy employees have flexibility in their work options.

Considering that a happy workforce is good for business, the study delved into what businesses can do to promote happiness among employees. It found that on a basic level, people want to work in a nice space with a healthy environment. Thirty percent of employees worldwide say that good air quality and lighting have the greatest impact on their mental wellbeing at work. Of happy employees, 40% said good air quality affects their wellbeing, while only 20% of unhappy employees say the same.

Flexibility is also key, and it’s ranked as the top perk that all employees want from their workplace, including happy employees. Mindspace says employers should keep in mind that flexibility not only refers to flexibility regarding time, but also where people are able to work throughout the course of the day.

The study also found that wellness programs matter. Happy employees work in companies that have more robust wellness programs, with 40% of happy employees working in offices that offer free health checkups or exercise classes. Wellness programs are appreciated by happy people: 25% of happy employees participate in mindfulness sessions or enjoy massages at work, as opposed to 6% of unhappy employees.