The perfect job doesn't exis... oh hang on. Apparently, it does - and according to a new survey, it requires some very specific factors to keep employees at peak happiness during work hours.
Rather than demanding their own swimming pool, or a basket of kittens under the desk, realistic UK workers felt that a nice view, free cups of tea and a salary of a very reasonable £44,000 would do them just fine.
They also liked the idea of a four-day or 26 hour week, and 'a boss you can have a pint with.'
These modest hopes were detailed in the survey by industrial equipment supplier Raja Workplace and included regular pay rises, six weeks holiday a year, and a day off on your birthday.
Workers also prefer a commute of no more than a very precise 17 minutes, while 95% said office 'atmosphere' was crucial to their job satisfaction.
Luckily, a third already felt they had their 'dream job' and were very content with their lot. But for a hefty 66%, it seems, bosses could be doing much more to meet their needs.
Andrew Wood, of Raja Workplace, said, "There are so many different things employers must take into consideration when designing a workplace and environment for their employees.
"From comfy chairs to the layout of the office, and ensuring the office is stocked with plenty of tea and coffee – it’s clear from the survey results these are all things employees value."
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The nature of office work is shifting dramatically as a result of the pandemic. With renewed calls to work from home thanks to the new Covid strain, Omicron, many are doing just that, while plenty of companies have adopted a very flexible working policy, allowing employees to work in the office when it suits them, and from home if they prefer.
Although the mean average British salary is currently £38,600 for full-time employees and £13,803 for part time workers, the median (earned by more people) was only £31,461, and the median salary for part-time workers was £11,234.
That magical £44,000 is more likely to be earned by financial and insurance advisers, services management (eg electricity and gas suppliers), and IT managers. Those who earned over £40k tended to have a degree and a post graduate qualification, according to ONS statistics for 2020.
Meanwhile, those aged 40-49 earned the most, with enough time clocked up behind them to get promoted, without yet being victims of ageism.
And for a higher salary, the stats suggest it helps if you live in London, with those working in the City, home of banks, accountants and and lawyers, paid a median average of £1,103.10 a week before tax.
It also helps to be a man, with a median pay gap in full time jobs of15.5%.
But while managers, directors and senior workers may rake it in, for many, breaking the £40k a year barrier remains a distant dream.
Perhaps that's fuelling what's being called 'The Great Resignation', as reports suggest that one in four workers are thinking of leaving their jobs. The switch has been triggered by pandemic burnout according to the recruitment firm Randstad UK.
The firm warned that losing employees and recruiting and training new ones could cost up to £25,000 per worker, and advised employers to look at the benefits and packages they offer to try to retain staff.
Victoria Short, CEO at Randstad UK said, "Another factor is burnout. Some teams have been running too hot for too long. The pandemic has changed how some people think about life, work, and what they want out of both.
"It’s made people step back and rethink their lives. Covid has reminded them that life is too short.”
Turns out all we really want is a good view and a pint after work - so perhaps employers need to consider setting up business in a country pub, with birthdays off and a pay rise. Race you to the application form.
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