Unhappy Londoners Hate their Work

Last Updated Apr 17, 2008 12:56 PM EDT

Londoners are the most miserable at work, says a survey by HireScores, a recruitment agency-scoring website. Over 70 per cent of the capital's workers are already thinking about getting a new job from day one, while only 11 per cent of employees in the south west are unhappy in their jobs.

Depressingly, only 10 per cent of all survey respondents believe their manager would try to keep them if they were to resign, while 21 per cent think their managers would simply set about organising their leaving do.

In a separate report, communications consultancy CHA's "Worthwhile Work" also found south-westerners more content than their London counterparts, who hanker after more meaningful roles that have a positive impact on society.

So what is it about London? HireScores' managing director, Lisette Howlett, speculates that job insecurity and the high cost of living contribute to a feeling of dissatisfaction among London workers, while the relaxed lifestyle of Devon, Bristol and the south west makes for a more positive workforce.

Yet UK earnings are high and jobs are plentiful: labour market figures show employment at its highest level since records began in 1971, average earnings have increased and vacancies are at a record high.

So what makes us happy at work?

According to consultancy Chiumento's "Happiness at Work Index", the five priorities for a good job are:

  1. Friendly, supportive colleagues
  2. Enjoyable work
  3. Good boss or line manager
  4. Good work/life balance
  5. Varied work
But Brits are nothing if not contradictory: while the index puts competitive salary at the bottom of the happiness-factor list, it's the second biggest reason for being unhappy at work. There's no pleasing some people.

For some tips on how to be one of the UK's best companies to work for check out the special awards in the annual Best Companies list.