Which industries can Singapore's unhappiest workers be found?

The happiest workers are not always the most well-compensated, according to a new workplace happiness survey.

Despite good news on Singapore’s economic and productivity fronts, the Singapore workforce have little to cheer about when it’s time to go to work.

According to the JobsCentral Work Happiness Survey Report 2017, at least one in two employees is unhappy at work. With an average Overall Work Happiness Indicator Score of 46.8%, this marks a record low since the survey begun in 2009.

The latest survey of 1,843 respondents, aged 16 years and above, found that the happiest workers in Singapore are those in translation and editorial with an average Work Happiness Indicator score of 75.8.

This is followed by employees in Public Relations, Marketing, Research and Development, and Legal, whose respondents claim to be comparatively happier than their fellow counterparts.

Those who felt most unhappy at work are from compliance, administrative, management and merchandising/ purchasing.

Comparing among industries, professionals in the industry of Arts, Entertainment & Recreation are found to be the happiest employees in Singapore with an average Work Happiness Indicator score of 57.0. It is then followed closely behind by workers in the industry of Water Supply, Sewerage, and Waste Management with an average score of 56.2.

Despite being perceived as a monetarily lucrative industry, employees from the financial and insurance services industry were found to be only marginally happy with an average score of 51.3.

Still, it was individuals in the industry of mining and quarrying who were found to be the unhappiest with an average score of 38.7.

The level of work happiness among private and public sector employees is similar.

Stepping into working life and starting one’s career may just be the happiest period for most workers in Singapore. Employees aged 16-20 years appear to be the happiest with an average happiness indicator score of 59.4. The score dips below 50 for employees aged 41 – 60, with employees between the ages 51 – 60 being the most unhappy.

The survey also found that money is the main motivator for most respondents, as they indicated a pay raise and salary as most important to them in deciding work happiness.

Work-life balance, good relations with colleagues, interesting work and acceptable work demands are also among the most important work attributes.

The least important attribute of work voted by the respondents is the positivity within the societal impact of their work.

“The survey results suggest that the majority of the respondents may perceive that they are being underpaid,” said Sam Ng, Managing Director of CareerBuilder Singapore.

“Employers should gather feedback from their staff and together develop an ideal compensation package to boost overall happiness at work.”  

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