A survey of 1,024 UK workers, by workplace incentives and rewards provider, One4all Rewards, and published in The 2018 Happiness Survey, asked employees from different age groups, genders and industries about the impact their happiness at work has on their productivity, revealed that 39% of workers would work harder if they are happy in their current role or place of work.

The research found that happiness amongst workers goes a long way: almost a third (30%) of workers said they would even be more willing to work overtime or for longer when they are happy.

The data revealed that 38% of workers say their happiness impacts their performance at work, which means employee productivity and results also see a positive effect from a happy workforce.

The data also reveals that unhappy workers may not simply leave; instead they tend to stick around and have a negative impact on workplace productivity. Despite 79% of workers believing their boss or manager does not care about their happiness, only 30% would consider leaving their current role if they were unhappy at work.

So how can businesses best boost happiness and therefore productivity?

The survey quizzed respondents about what their employers could do to improve their happiness, revealing that awarding pay rises of either 25% or 10% would, unsurprisingly, have the biggest impact (44% and 33% respectively).

However, the research revealed that several less expensive options were also effective.

Being thanked by bosses for a job well done more often would increase the morale of 21% of workers, while a similar number (20%) said increased recognition from their boss for their work and the contributions they make would also make them happier in the workplace. Token gestures like gift cards or free lunches could be used to reinforce these displays of gratitude.

Alan Smith, UK Managing Director at One4all Rewards, said: “It’s clear from the research the sheer impact a happy workforce can have on a business’ success. A large number of workers are willing to work harder, increase productivity and their results, if they are happy and indeed their work can suffer if they are not.

“It’s important that business leaders regularly take stock of morale within their organisations and make an effort to improve it where necessary. Ensuring staff are happy in their roles and willing to work hard for the business can go a long way to help it succeed. Bosses shouldn’t just assume that if they have low staff turnover they have a happy workforce.”