UK workers are struggling to find happiness in their jobs. A survey from Clydesdale and Yorkshire Banks, looking at attitudes to work within SMEs, has revealed that 37% of workers are not enjoying their job as much as they used to.
Across the UK, only those workers from the East Midlands, South West and Scotland feel that they are happier in their jobs. The East Midlands has shown the biggest increase in job satisfaction (40%), closely followed by the South West (39%) and Scotland (35%).
With the holiday season almost upon us, and despite not being happy in their work, over two-fifths (44%) of workers across the UK admit to taking fewer days off than they are entitled to. Blurring the boundaries between the office and the beach, 77% of SME employees also admit that they keep in touch with the office while on holiday.
Taking these findings along with holiday habits and attitudes to work life balance, it's perhaps understandable why so many people are feeling the workplace blues.
Mike Williams, general manager of business banking at Clydesdale and Yorkshire Banks said:
"It's easy to make assumptions about why people's enjoyment of their work appears to be declining – the current economic situation being perhaps the most obvious. But when you consider that nearly half of workers admit to taking less than 20 days holiday a year and more than three-quarters keep in touch while on those precious days away from the office, it paints a somewhat different picture."
Looking nationally, SMEs in the North West and West Midlands appear to have the unhappiest workers in the UK – recording the biggest downturn in enjoyment (47%). These two regions also top the tables for taking 20 days or less holidays a year (56% and 59% respectively), as well as keeping in touch with the office when on their annual leave (86% and 77% respectively).
However, the results for both Yorkshire & Humber and Wales show a 'work hard play hard' mentality. The research found that workers in Yorkshire & Humber and Wales are among the top five regions that recorded a decline in their enjoyment of business and the majority of these workers take fewer days leave than they're entitled to. But when it comes to those days off they are among the least likely to stay in touch with the office.
"Business owners should try to ensure that their staff take full advantage of their annual leave entitlement. This could lead to a happier, more productive workforce who will, in turn, be more productive," continued Mike Williams.
"Using up our holiday allowance and leaving the office behind undoubtedly lets us recharge our batteries, and come back refreshed and raring to go."