UK tech industry "lags behind" in worker happiness

London skyline at sunset

The majority of UK working adults believe that it's possible to secure a "dream job" in technology, however more than half admit they have yet to find the perfect role, according to a survey assessing workplace happiness.

A study published today by Harris Poll, commissioned by job-search website Hired, found that of 2,557 full-time employed adults surveyed across the UK, US and Australia, an average of 70% were optimistic that a dream job was possible, yet only four in ten said that they had found one.

The UK consistently performed the worst in terms of overall employee happiness and outlooks. Only 58% of tech workers felt that securing that perfect position was possible, while only 35% strongly agreed with the statement "I've already found my dream job".

While it's encouraging to see that only 7% of respondents actively hate their jobs, the majority (51%) of working adults were on the fence about their role, responding "just ok" to a survey question asking about their current position.

Employees in the UK are also the most likely to admit they are actively seeking a new job (41%) compared to Australia (39%) and the US (30%). Men are also notably more optimistic about their dream job prospects, with 46% of male employees agreeing they have found the perfect job compared to 40% of women.

The report suggests that a geographical gap may be due to a general lack of expectation in the UK, as workers do not anticipate the same level of fulfillment from their technology sector compared to their American counterparts, particularly as support is there in the form of a strong social safety net in the event a job does not work out.

Despite the slow erosion of Silicon Valley as the epicentre of the technology world, and the number of new opportunities sprouting up in cities such as Austin, Seattle, and Melbourne, the UK has yet to offer the same incentives for tech workers.

Tech salaries in Britain remain among the lowest when adjusted for cost of living, according to the 2017 State of Salaries report, which may goes some way to explaining why the UK is consistently behind in terms of overall job happiness.

Unsurprisingly, six out of ten respondents believed that the biggest driver of happiness at work is a strong salary, although other factors such as improving company leadership (44%) and feeling like their work is appreciated by managers (27%) were also significant factors.

The report highlights that to retain talent in the technology sector, a meaningful conversation needs to be had about salaries and opportunities, particularly if the UK is to remain competitive against more attractive markets.

Dale Walker

Dale Walker is the Managing Editor of ITPro, and its sibling sites CloudPro and ChannelPro. Dale has a keen interest in IT regulations, data protection, and cyber security. He spent a number of years reporting for ITPro from numerous domestic and international events, including IBM, Red Hat, Google, and has been a regular reporter for Microsoft's various yearly showcases, including Ignite.