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The happiest employees in the world


      Despite a tendency to complain about work, it seems that the majority of people are actually happy with their jobs. On average, 71% of employees report feeling positive about their work, according to the Edenred-Ipsos Barometer, which surveyed more than 14,000 people in 15 countries about their well-being at work.

The researchers gauged well-being by asking about things like whether workers have a clear idea of their expectations, can count on their colleagues for help, and feel like their bosses respect them. This gave them an overall happiness score. Researchers assessed well-being by asking employees about 10 items related to their work, broken down into three “pillars”: environment, appreciation and emotion. On average, employees are more satisfied with items related to their workplace environment, including equipment, work-life balance and having a clear idea of what is expected of them. Scores related to appreciation and emotion are lower.

       The report only surveyed people in 15 of the largest economies, so there could be more countries out there where workers are even happier.

       But levels of workplace happiness vary considerably from country to country: 88% of the Indian employees surveyed said they feel positive about their work, compared with just 44% of Japanese workers. Other high-scoring countries were Mexico, in second place with 81%, followed by the United States, Chile and Brazil in joint third with 77%.

      According to the survey, there is a list of countries ranked most to least happy at work:

  1. India
  2. Mexico
  3. U.S.
  4. Chile
  5. Brazil
  6. Germany
  7. U.K.
  8. China
  9. Poland
  10. Belgium
  11. Spain
  12. France
  13. Turkey
  14. Italy
  15. Japan

 India, Mexico, Brazil and Chile scored highest for all the items linked to well-being at work, and specifically for emotional satisfaction. The researchers define this as enjoying coming to work in the morning, interest in the job and confidence in their professional future.

      Like Turkey, China, Italy, and Poland, the workers of Japan characterize well-being through environmental factors, such as the equipment they are given to utilize, the balance between working hours and personal hours, and the degree to which their tasks are well articulated and defined. To the last point, the Japanese-more than anyone among the 15 countries surveyed-have a very clear idea of their responsibilities. Yet, Japanese workers reported the greatest amount of dread in the mornings before leaving the house, as well as the greatest amount of anxiety about their individual futures as professionals within their companies.

      French workers, like Belgian and German workers, are largely balanced when it comes to environment, emotion, and appreciation. Regarding the latter, however, they report feeling more underappreciated by their bosses than workers in other countries on the list.

      With their Spanish and American counterparts, British workers registered a balanced take on their work environments and the degree to which they feel appreciated by management. Like their counterparts in those countries, they also tend to emotionally neutral about the fact that they, indeed, have to work. Worker happiness may only be tangentially related to Brexit if one takes a hard line between macro-economic dominos and micro-economic realities. But, the referendum to leave the EU passed only barely, and at least half the country is gravely concerned about the fact that they lost. Beyond that, workers in the UK report to be less than interested in their jobs, which represents a kind of malaise that may have broader implications with regard to individual economic outlook.

      Irish employees are among the happiest in the world, according to another survey which ranks Ireland fourth place globally and Dublin coming first among cities in Europe. This survey of 35 countries ranks Colombia top for job happiness, followed by Mexico, Russia and Ireland. China is in last place.