WORKING ABROAD / SEP. 26, 2013
version 4, draft 4

What Justifies Job Satisfaction in the UK?

The latest figures in the UK show increased job satisfaction by employees. According to a survey (2010/2011) 78.5% of working people in the UK were reportedly more satisfied than discontented with their jobs. This percentage rose by 8.5% between 2005 - 2011 where the rate of job satisfaction was 70%.

What really justifies job satisfaction though? Let’s see what the findings indicate.

Volunteerism

An earlier study - the UK Household Longitudinal Survey - conducted in 2010-11 revealed that 82% of Britons had never or almost never been involved in voluntary work. However, those who do voluntary work are likely to do it systematically. 9.1% of respondents said that they engage in volunteerism at least once a week compared to just 1.7% who do it once a year or less. This finding suggest that British volunteers are devoted to the mission of volunteerism although this may not be a valid ground for explaining rising job satisfaction levels in the country.

Good work-life balance

Only 1 in 10 employees appear to have a proportionate work-life balance. Men were reported to have a lower figure (0.8 in 10) and women a relatively higher (1.3 in 10). Interestingly, the survey found that there was a difference between the pubilc and private sector in terms of te balance between employees’ professional and personal lives; a healthy work-life balance is less common in the public sector than the private sector.

Gender-wise, 60% of women feel happy with their work-life balance while men were found to be less content with the way the conflicting demands of their home and work life play out. However, more than half maintain that the balance is generally good.

Job security and stress indicators

Job security seems to be the only aspect of job satisfaction that has fallen since 2004. Before, the percentage of those satisfied with their job security amounted to 64% while now it’s 59%. On the other hand, 1 in 3 respondents expressed that frustration with poor management is a factor that makes them stressed at work, with excessive workload being the second highest response.

Well, Briton’s high job satisfaction levels should not surprise us! From what we have already seen in a previous article , British employees enjoy better work conditions (e.g. more sociable working hours and finer workplace atmosphere) than their European counterparts.

Besides, social provisions targeting specific groups of employees (e.g. working mothers) can also account for the high job satisfaction rates in the UK. The Shadow Chancellor Ed Balls recently announced a plan for offering working parents 25 hours a week free childcare for children aged three and four in an effort to ease the childcare burden for families.

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