Human Resources

Why we don’t have a ‘happiness at work’ questionnaire

Lydia Watson

Are you happy? It’s an awkward question to answer. 

Not least because happiness is more about your emotional state, something that shifts and stalls, influenced by the smallest of things. I’m happy when I’m enjoying a coffee in the sun, paperback in my hand. I’m unhappy when I spill that coffee all over my lap. 

But just because it’s hard to pin down, it doesn’t mean that happiness isn’t important. It really is – especially in the workplace, and especially right now. 

How the pandemic prompted us to ask if we’re happy at work

Warnings about the ‘great resignation’ are largely a response to what has been called the “Great Realisation”the idea that employees, overwhelmed by a global pandemic, a worsening climate crisis, political unrest, and social inequality, are really starting to consider what matters.

In the World 2021 Happiness Report, there was a 10% increase in people saying they’ve been sad or worried the previous day – and with reports of long working hours, some have speculated about the role work is playing in our day-to-day happiness. 

First things first, employee happiness does matter

We don’t have a survey dedicated to it (we’ll get to that) but that doesn’t mean that employee happiness isn’t important. When people are happy, they’re 12% more productive – sometimes up to 20% more. They’re more successful, creative, and resilient, not to mention happier at home. It’s good for them and good for your business. 

The science of happiness at work? It’s complicated

The challenge with workplace happiness is there’s no single answer. There’s a lot of things that make people happy or unhappy, and it’s rarely a fixed state of mind.

When you ask ‘are you happy at work?’, what are you really asking?

Unhappiness can be a symptom or side effect, but there are usually a lot of contributing factors when people aren’t happy at work. So it’s important to dig deeper when it comes to your employees, and that starts with understanding what you actually want to know.

Here’s just a few of many questions you should possibly be asking instead: 


Once you know why you’re asking, we can help you get started quickly thanks to Qlearsite Employee Feedback Platform – it just takes three easy steps:

  1. Choose one of 20+ question sets, from ‘support’ to ‘inclusion’
  2. Set up, brand, and send your survey in under 15 minutes
  3. Get clear answers immediately when the survey closes 

Get in touch to learn more:

It’s time to start the conversation

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