A recent RSS feed from HR Review (http://www.hrreview.co.uk) discussed an article about Happiness.  I decided to go to the source and found that every quarter Office Angels (http://www.office-angels.com) carry out some research to find out how happy we all are in our work.   The much discussed figure by both parties for the quarter August to October is four in ten, meaning 40% of us are happy in our work.  Although this is being hailed as a big improvement, which it is, as only 37% of us were happy three months ago, it raises some questions.

On the face of it, 40% sounds a bit poor to me and it’s only when you look at the other figures do you get a more accurate picture. The true figure is 31% who were happy plus another 13% who were most happy totalling 44%, which has been rounded down to give the four in ten.  However, 37% were also OK in their work, with 12% being unhappy and 8% being most unhappy.  I’m a bit more heartened by these figures as this means that eight out of ten of us are at least OK or happy and only two in ten are unhappy.  Not great but given the current climate and all the other problems people have it’s a lot better than the 60% level of unhappiness implied by the initial headline.   Unhappiness has also fallen as in July 2012, three in ten were either unhappy or most unhappy so having a third of them move into the OK sector has to be a good thing.

Although I can be both flippant and pedantic about such surveys, they do serve a useful purpose provided the methodology remains the same each time.  I am though concerned about Office Angels maths, particularly as a recruitment consultancy that presumably requires a good level of numeracy from many of its candidates.  The October percentages actually add up to 101%.  Perhaps that’s the level of effort and energy you need to be happy.