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Believe it or not, UK staff are among the happiest

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It may not always feel like it, especially as you are sat in the office and your colleagues are moaning about having to go back to work after Christmas, but UK staff are among the happiest in the world.

This flies in the face of the official figures which were published by the government in the Happiness Index in December, but other research shows it to be true.

The Wall Street Journal conducted a study with the iOpener Institute into the happiest of staff in 30 sectors across 80 countries in the world, and the UK came near the top.

In order to get a well rounded idea of happiness in the workplace, five components were investigated, which were: contribution, conviction, culture, commitment and confidence.

Each of the 2,000 respondents gave a score out of ten for a variety of factors and the UK achieved above average scores for each one.

The happiest nation according to this criteria was the Netherlands where there was an especially high score for employees appreciating the values of the company they work for.

Italy found itself at the other end of the scale with one of the standout areas for achieving a low score was for trust in the vision of the leader.

Simon Lutterbie, director of research at the iOpener Institute, said: “These findings give a global insight into performance in the workplace: the happier people are, the more productive they are.”

Meanwhile, research undertaken by the Trades Union Congress found that more Britons are working longer hours, but the amount of paid overtime has gone down.

Mr Lutterbie said: “When comparing the unhappiest and happiest people at work, employees who are really happy at work tend to stay about five times longer in their jobs, are focused on the task at hand three times longer and take around three times less sick leave.”