What Makes One Happy At Work?

It is easy to say that the type of work one does would be the key to happiness in the office but according to a survey done by Milieu Insight, it is the relationship with colleagues that is a key driver of workplace happiness. This latest study offers keen insight into happiness at the workplace in a post-COVID world and how employers can keep their staff happy and productive.

80% of working professionals across Southeast Asia feel that they have a sense of belonging within their company, and 78% agree that their companies give them what they need to do their job effectively.

As part of worldwide events to celebrate International Week of Happiness at Work (20 – 26 September 2021), Milieu Insight has released the results of their “Happiness at Work” study based on more than n=6,800 working professionals from across Southeast Asia (Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam).

The state of happiness at the workplace across Southeast Asia is mixed, as 35% of working professionals stated that they’re happier than one year ago, while 26% said they’re less happy, and the remaining 39% indicated no change. Respondents in Thailand were more likely to be less happy at work than a year ago (44%). In contrast, respondents in Indonesia (44%) and the Philippines (42%) were more likely to be happier today than a year ago.

When asked what aspects of their current job make them happy or unhappy, both salary and relationships with their colleagues ranked 1st, at 42%. Their current work arrangement, such as having a flexible work schedule, also ranked high, with 35% of respondents selecting this. Notably, current work arrangements also ranked first as the leading cause of unhappiness. The latter highlights that not all companies have succeeded in adapting their work arrangements to a post-Covid world or that some employees are less open to work-from-home arrangements.

It was fascinating to see that ‘relationships at work’ ranked so high as a driver of happiness, and that it ranked as high as their salary. As we approach two years of living with the effects of COVID-19, it would seem that employees are beginning to desire stronger connections with their colleagues, even if those connections have to be nurtured remotely. Business leaders shouldn’t overlook the importance of cultivating strong employee relationships, and succeeding with this requires more than a subscription to collaboration tools like Zoom or Teams.”

– Stephen Tracy, COO of Milieu Insight

Images: Envato (header) and Milieu Insight

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