Sep 10, 2015 10:00:08 AM

Does geography affect your work happiness?

Are you doing your best to keep your staff happy, motivated and working at their optimum capacity? Turns out that what you do might not have such a big effect on office morale, it could all be down to geography.

The 2015 World Happiness Report ranked Switzerland as the happiest country in the world. Followed closely by Iceland, Denmark, Norway, Canada and Finland.

The latest survey - which evaluates such criteria as GDP, social support, healthy life expectancy, generosity and the freedom to make life choices - put the Netherlands at number 7 on the list, and perhaps it's all due to the flexible working practices that Dutch people enjoy in their careers.

When it comes to flexible working, 26.8% of Dutch men and 76.6% of Dutch women work less than 37 hours per week. Compare that with the UK where only 10% of men and 40% of women work part time hours - and you might start to see why the UK Is ranked much further down the World Happiness Report at number 21.

Across the EU, only 20% of working-age people holds a part time job, according to The Economist.

In the Netherlands, a new law makes it possible for women to cut back their working hours without repercussion from their employers - which no doubt helps with overall workplace happiness and job satisfaction.

"Policymakers should be making the happiness of the people their goals, which is not a new idea" said Richard Layard, one of the World Happiness Report's co-authors and the director of the Wellbeing Program at the London School of Economics.

Professor Brené Brown from the University of Houston writes about workplace culture, and how it contributes to happiness. For her new book 'Daring Greatly' she interviewed many people to get their take on the subject. "Less than half the people I’ve interviewed would say they work around the clock out of fear, and more than half would say they do it out of habit" Brown told the Washington Post. "We use work to numb out. We can’t turn off our machines because we’re afraid we’re going to miss something".

So are your staff switching off when they should? Are they happy with their jobs or would there be a whole lot more happiness if they had flexible or part-time working? Are they working long hours out of habit? Instead of waiting for an annual appraisal cycle to find out, why not get more regular feedback? Our Vibecatch online staff surveys are quick, light, unobtrusive and give you access to instant answers from your staff.

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Posted by vibeblogger

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