Rural workers are happier at work than their city-dwelling counterparts, according to a new report by Rebecca Cassells of Curtin University. The report, jointly published with the organisation Making Work Absolutely Human (mwah), aims to demonstrate which factors are most important for job satisfaction among Australians in order to make work ‘as human as possible’.
Older workers are happier at work than younger workers, reflecting the fact that they often continue to work by choice
There is evidence that factors such as where we live can indeed influence how happy we are at work. For example, 38% of workers in remote or very remote areas reported that they were ‘very satisfied’ with their work as opposed to only 27% in major cities. The largest percentage of very satisfied workers live in Tasmania, whilst Western Australia has the least happy workforce. However, the reasons for this varied from state to state.
Interestingly, earnings only increase job satisfaction up to a point. Workers who are ‘satisfied’ with their job earn an average of $1,267 a week, whereas those who are ‘very satisfied’ only earn $1,183. This reflects the fact that those on a higher wage tend to work more hours which can impact on their personal life.
“The trade-off between happiness with certain aspects of a job and dissatisfaction with others is evident. It’s unlikely that any job will deliver everything that is needed to be happy at work, but certain things can help.”
Many other factors also make for a potentially more satisfying work life, according to the report. These include running your own business or working for a small, local business, who you work with, being able to work from home for some of the week and working outdoors.