We polled 10,000 customers to learn what makes people happy at work

What’s the secret to a job you love? Your first instinct might be to say: a fat salary, a position of power, or perks like a treadmill desk and all-you-can-eat blue M&Ms.

But according to a recent poll we conducted, that’s not the case—at all. We sent a survey to 10,000 of our customers in 136 countries around the world to learn what really matters to people in the workplace, and the results were fascinating.

First a bit of background information about our research: 83 percent of the participants identified as managers with teammates reporting directly to them, and 28 percent were of the “C-suite” executive level. 61 percent were men and 38 percent were women. The participants spanned over 60 industries, ranging from accounting to biotech to fire safety.

So what did we learn?

1. Nearly 50 percent of people are happy at work—and 70 percent are engaged

There’s that old George Carlin quote, “Oh, you hate your job? Why didn’t you say so? There’s a support group for that. It’s called everybody and they meet at the bar.” It’s practically a cultural norm at this point to assume that most people are miserable at work.

But we learned that that’s actually not true. 47 percent of our participants strongly agreed with the statement, “I define myself as happy at work” and 70 percent strongly agreed with the statement, “I am always committed to and involved in my job.” The final bit of good news? 59 percent of our participants strongly agreed with the statement, “I am optimistic about my professional future.”

2. Salary has the least impact on people’s happiness

There’s a lot of research out there to show that people aren’t actually that motivated by money, but we were surprised to learn just how little it mattered to people in terms of their overall happiness in the workplace. We asked people about their values and priorities at work, and the results were, in this order:

  1. Having the ability to learn, develop, and grow
  2. Working in an area or industry you’re passionate about
  3. Working for company that effects positive change in the world
  4. Feeling a sense of recognition for your work and contributions
  5. Working for a company or organization that’s the best of its industry
  6. Balancing work and personal life
  7. Salary

3. People want honest and competent leaders as managers

We’ve written a lot about what it means to be a good manager (See: Are You a Micromanager? and 5 Pitfalls of First-Time Managers) but this is the first time we’ve had hard numbers to back up our beliefs. We polled participants on the top three qualities they want in a manager, and the responses were:

  1. Leadership
  2. Honesty
  3. Ability to delegate

Our interpretation of the value “honesty” is that people want to work under leaders that build a culture of transparency, which in addition to making people happy, gets the best results.

4. 84 percent of participants said dapulse makes them happier at work

People are so accustomed to working with cumbersome and complicated work tools that just make their lives harder. We built dapulse to be intuitive, non-imposing, and fasta product that you and your team will love to use every day. That’s why we’re so thrilled to read survey responses like this:

“dapulse contributes to my happiness at work because it keeps track of the status of all of my jobs for me, so that I can keep my brain clear to focus on getting work done.”

“dapulse helps me provide clarity to the mission, and align people and their strengths on projects.”

“It keeps the control freak in me under control, because I know where our countless projects stand.”

We are honored that not only does dapulse make people more productive, but it actually makes them happier. It motivates us to continue creating the best product we can that solves real challenges in your day-to-day life.

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