Despite a tendency to complain about work, it seems that the majority of people are actually happy with their jobs.

On average, 71% of employees report feeling positive about their work, according to the Edenred-Ipsos Barometer, which surveyed more than 14,000 people in 15 countries about their well-being at work.

But levels of workplace happiness vary considerably from country to country: 88% of the Indian employees surveyed said they feel positive about their work, compared with just 44% of Japanese workers.

Other high-scoring countries were Mexico, in second place with 81%, followed by the United States, Chile and Brazil in joint third with 77%.

 Well-being at work
Image: Edenred-Ipsos Barometer

Researchers assessed well-being by asking employees about 10 items related to their work, broken down into three “pillars”: environment, appreciation and emotion.

 Pillars at work
Image: Edenred-Ipsos Barometer

On average, employees are more satisfied with items related to their workplace environment, including equipment, work-life balance and having a clear idea of what is expected of them. Scores related to appreciation and emotion are lower.

India, Mexico, Brazil and Chile scored highest for all the items linked to well-being at work, and specifically for emotional satisfaction. The researchers define this as enjoying coming to work in the morning, interest in the job and confidence in their professional future.

The countries with the more balanced results across the three categories were Spain, the United Kingdom and the US, although researchers found workplaces in these countries were characterized by a lack of emotion.

Belgium, France and Germany also had fairly balanced scores. However, employees did report a lack of appreciation – for example, in the amount of respect shown to them by management.

Last on the list is Japan, where employees report considerably lower levels of enjoyment at work than the global average. However, their satisfaction with their working environment is higher, with workers saying they had a clear idea of what was expected of them.

 Employee work scores
Image: Edenred-Ipsos Barometer