Handbrake On and Off: The Factors That Affect Job Satisfaction


A jaw-dropping 72% of currently employed Australians have felt unhappy at work at some point in the past 12 months. Now that’s a big figure! It’s also disappointing because it’s not unexpected.

Worse follows: It seems that 26% of employed Australians are looking for new jobs because they don’t feel happy in their current roles and 43% of Australians say that their expectations towards workplace happiness are now higher since the COVID-19 pandemic emerged four years ago.

So what are our handbrake on and off (dissatisfied versus satisfied) employment factors?

Handbrake off (happy) factors

What makes people take their handbrake off and feel satisfied and happy with their job? How about these 17 ‘likes’:

  1. Positive relationship with colleagues
  2. Pleasant work environment
  3. Close to home
  4. The work itself has lots of variety
  5. Great benefits and conditions (leave, flexitime, etc.)
  6. Reasonable hours
  7. Job security
  8. Good direct manager
  9. Positive company culture
  10. High workplace morale levels
  11. Great quality of overall management
  12. Positive feedback and feelings of appreciation
  13. Good salary
  14. Training and development opportunities
  15. Low stress level
  16. Career development opportunities
  17. Involved human resources approach

Handbrake on (unhappy) factors

What makes people put their handbrake on and feel dissatisfied and unhappy with their work? Here are some of the big barriers to workplace happiness.

  1. Poor management and leadership
  2. Lack of direction
  3. The impression that management doesn’t care about their staff
  4. Pay rates too low
  5. Input is not valued or respected
  6. Lack of opportunities for professional development
  7. Too many internal changes, changing requirements and restructuring
  8. Toxic or unpleasant colleagues
  9. Lack of benefits

So the question is: How do YOU choose to operate – handbrake on or off?

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