Job satisfaction survey

The conversation around mental health is changing, becoming a normalised topic that is widely acknowledged as requiring better support.

Making mental health a priority in the workplace is the next important step, given the growing prevalence of job-induced mental health challenges across the UK.

A healthy work/life balance is a vital remedy for improving workplace mental health - especially in a nation renowned for being stressed and overworked.

Movement is being made to better support work/life balance, with hybrid and remote working routines becoming the norm post-pandemic.

The prospect of a four-day working week is also gaining momentum, as evidenced by numerous companies nationwide trialling this approach - some even with Government backing.

However, a crucial question still lingers; how satisfied are UK employees in their workplaces, and is enough being done at a granular level to successfully support workplace wellbeing?

We conducted research to discover what UK workers really think about their jobs, analysing the mental health picture across various industries.

The results revealed startling realities about job satisfaction, the likelihood of moving jobs, and the impact workplaces had on individuals’ mental health.

Jobs are negatively impacting mental health

Overall, the UK Job Satisfaction Survey revealed that 59% of respondents reported having their mental health impacted in the past, or currently experience mental health challenges as a result of their job.

Moving jobs is high on the agenda

The survey results also suggest that UK workers have a tendency to change jobs frequently, as evidenced by 61% of participants contemplating a job switch in the near future.

The picture across cities

Across the UK, Bristol reigned as the city in which workers are most satisfied with their jobs, with only 7% expressing job dissatisfaction.

Cardiff, on the other hand, had the worst job satisfaction, with 15% of respondents stating they were not happy in their jobs.

Half of survey respondents lack work/life balance

56% of respondents reported not having a good work/life balance - emphasising there is still a need for organisations to re-evaluate their HR policies to ensure a better balance.

The top reasons cited included working overtime during the week, having to take on overtime on weekends as well as the week, and being forced to cancel plans to work. Just 9% said it was down to never having time for their family.

Top 5 reasons people don’t have a good work/life balance

Having to work overtime during the week and on weekends13.8%
Having to work overtime during the week12.6%
Having to cancel plans in order to work11.4%
I have to work through my lunch11.2%
Never having time for their family8.9%

Top 5 reasons for leaving a job

The primary motivations for leaving a job were varied.

Not being paid enough took the lead, with 37% or survey respondents citing this as the main reason, with the lack of work/life balance (34%), and not enough progression opportunities and bad management (both 24%) following closely behind.

18% of survey takers reported that they left their job due a toxic culture.

Media and internet employees suffer with the worst mental health

The survey results indicate a concerning pattern in mental health across industries.

Media and internet emerged as the sector with the highest mental health impact, with a staggering 86% of respondents acknowledging the toll their jobs take on their well-being.

The science and pharmaceutical and recruitment and HR industries followed closely behind with 83% and 80% (respectively) admitting to suffering with bad mental health at work.

Although their mental health was still negatively impacted by work, professionals in the creative arts and design industries suffered the least compared to other sectors, with 71% of those surveyed admitting to battling with work-related mental health challenges.

Work/life balance reported as steady

Interestingly, the data revealed that work/life balance is fairly good across all of the industries.

Recruitment and HR stand out as having the most challenging balance, with 15% reporting dissatisfaction in this area, closely followed by business consulting and management (14%).

Both environment and agriculture and hospitality and events management were reported as having the best work/life balance, with 13% acknowledging an imbalance.

Job-hopping is common across industries

The survey data also revealed that a significant number of people are contemplating moving or actively leaving their job across industries.

Media and internet professionals stood out on the job-hopping front, with a substantial 71% either thinking about or in the process of moving jobs, highlighting the dynamic nature of the industry.

Hospitality and events management ranked closely behind at 64%, with those employees in the information technology and law enforcement and security industries least likely to move at 54% and 50% respectively, suggesting better job satisfaction.

Overall, the UK Job Satisfaction Report findings highlight that we are a nation of job hoppers, and although there is a positive shift towards work/life balance, there is still a pressing need for employers to better support employees’ mental health. After all, a healthy workforce is conducive to a healthy business.

We spend so much of our time at work and therefore it is vitally important for both our mental and physical health to have a good/work life balance. It is also important to make sure we have financial protection in place to help secure our loved one’s financial future.

For more insight on life, work, and everything in between, check out our articles archive and find out all about life insurance.


Reassured TLF Research survey of 1,500 UK workers - November 2023

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