Shiny happy people in Mid Sussex

Editor’s Blog Posted 05/02/16
How much does working life contribute to overall wellbeing?

According to a three-year study into wellbeing by the Office of National Statistics, the lucky people of Mid Sussex have the greatest likelihood of feeling happy with their lives.

The area came out top when people were asked to rate their happiness level, on a scale of 1 to 10, with nearly 40% of those questioned saying they were at level 9 or 10. By contrast, just under 22% of people living in Wolverhampton scored their happiness that high.

What failed to make the headlines is the fact that of the 300,000 people surveyed, ‘on average’ people scored themselves at 7 or 8 - still a pretty decent level of contentment, wouldn’t you say?

What interests me more is the factors that contribute to that happiness evaluation and how prominently working lives feature in the equation. Last year, small business community Manta announced that their own survey had revealed entrepreneurs were the happiest people in America, with 94% saying that all the stresses and strains of running their own business were more than worth it. This finding backs up a 2013 report by the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor, which found that entrepreneurs did seem to be generally happier than other people. However, it also pointed out that people who had started businesses due to necessity - often because they lived in countries with struggling economies - ranked their wellbeing lower than those who set up companies with the aim of pursuing their interests or improving their own work-life balance.

The issue of wellbeing in the workplace is gaining ever-increasing exposure and that’s something we’ll be looking at in a future issue of South East Business. We’d love to hear your thoughts on the subject, so please do get in touch.

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