How everyone benefits from a good day at work
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Our research – What is a Good Day At Work? – examines peoples’ expectations and experiences of work

‘Did you have a good day at work?’

It’s a simple question, but for most of us, it’s a strong indicator of our happiness, health and sense of purpose: our wellbeing.

Wellbeing influences – and is influenced by – every aspect of our lives. We spend roughly half our waking hours at work, and a huge factor of our wellbeing boils down to how we feel there.

Our working world is becoming increasingly complex, undergoing rapid change at almost every level. Hard Brexit or not, the UK is navigating a turbulent political and economic situation, and the long-term uncertainty this represents has an undeniable impact on business. Add to this the disruption from a rapidly evolving way of working, where the traditionally competing spheres of home and work are integrating, and you have a world of work that is challenging indeed.

It’s never been timelier to explore people’s experiences of work and their expectations of it.

What defines good days at work?

We partnered with business psychologists Robertson Cooper to survey 1,500 employees across and beyond the UK banking sector to find out, ‘what is a good day at work?’ Employee wellbeing is a major factor in performance and productivity, and therefore in business effectiveness, so ‘good days’ are an important measure for organisations looking to do better.

What our research reveals is how scarce they are for many employees, with 10 per cent of the people we surveyed failing to have even one good day at work out of five.

It also highlights a disconnect between what people think creates a good day at work, and what actually does. Employees thought that a good day meant completing tasks, facing less bureaucracy and fewer unreasonable requests, and having positive work relationships. While getting work done is important, our research suggests that good days are also strongly linked to factors like support from managers, technology, and the ability to discuss feelings. Those who reported having better days at work consistently reported receiving and providing a higher level of support, being significantly more appreciated for their contribution, and being much more likely to talk about wellbeing with their colleagues.

Interestingly, the report also found marked differences in the motivation, happiness and career ambitions of bank workers compared to employees in other sectors.

We found that those who work in banks:

  • Are more resilient when dealing with work challenges and bureaucracy
  • Are more focused on making a difference at work.

However, they also:

  • Have fewer good days at work (averaging 2.82) than employees in other sectors (3.07)
  • Are more likely to have managers who they see as being task-focused and not part of the team.

Our Head of Wellbeing, Paul Barrett, says: ‘We know that a positive experience of work is good for our health and wellbeing. The great news is that innumerable studies have shown that it’s also good for businesses, who perform better when their workforce is healthy and happy. The fact is, everyone benefits if we can get this right.’

We all want better days at work. Get your copy of the report to read about how bank employees are faring in relation to employees in other sectors, and discover how you can help your people have more positive experiences of work.

Get your copy today.