New studies show that government employees are on average much happier than employees in the private sector. Researchers at CareerBliss interviewed thousands of workers in both the private sector and the public sector, and found that government workers were far more positive about their work environment, compensation, workload and opportunity for income growth. Government workers scored top marks across the board with an average happiness score of 4.07 out of 5. Could this be a sign that government can make people happier?
Government Employees are Happier
The study carried out by CareerBliss revealed that government employees have better relationships with their bosses and have much more relaxed work environments. When employees were asked whether they worried about accountability, government workers tended to have a relaxed attitude, whereas private sector employees tended to worry more. Workplace anxiety has been shown to lead to all sorts of health problems in the long term, so private sector workers are at significantly more risk of developing stress related health problems. When government employees were asked about whether they were worried about retirement, the results were dramatic. Government employees were far less worried about retirement than their private sector counterparts, which is probably attributable to government employees’ generous pensions and excellent job security.
Government Supports Diversity
Empowering under-served demographics is one of the keys to creating a happier society , and our government often has strict quotas for diversity in government positions. Our government is actively working to promote women and minorities in the workplace by improving access to government jobs and promotions. A study carried out by the Partnership for Public Service reports that within the public sector women are more satisfied with their jobs than men, which compares very favorably to the private sector. The studies also reveal that women and minorities are do not believe that enough is being done to further gender and racial equality in this country, and that they want our government to do more. Ironically, men, whites and Asians were most likely to report that diversity is being sufficiently encouraged, even though these groups were the most highly paid and over-represented.
Government Reduces Anxiety
When interviewed about whether they would prefer a private company to carry out government services like helping the poor, building roads and garbage collection, 98% of people say that they prefer the government to provide these services. People report that having the government provide these services for free makes them feel less anxious about whether they can afford the services. People also don’t want to have to worry about whether the poor can afford these services, and prefer to know that our government is providing these services for free.
Government Encouraging Happy Spending?
A new study shows that as countries get richer, some get happier but others don’t. Economic growth in Denmark and the Netherlands seems to have had a greater impact on happiness than economic growth in the United States and China for example. Obama’s chief economic adviser, Alan Krueger notes “Why do some countries do a much better job translating income gains into happiness than others?”. Many of our government’s top economic advisers are asking whether the government should encourage people to spend their money on things that make them happier. Many ‘freedom’ advocates will resist this kind of policy, but what good is the freedom to spend your money as your choose if it doesn’t make you happier?
Creating a Happy Society
The evidence shows that government is the key to creating a happy society. Our government is actively looking at how to promote happiness, but they can’t do it alone. It’s time for the private sector to start replicating the policies that make working for the government so much better. Corporations need to start focusing less on executive pay and ‘shareholders’, and more on creating a happy work environment. Studies show that happier employees work better than unhappy employees, so it is in the interests of private sector employers to invest in the happiness of their workers. If the private sector can’t step up to the plate and offer their employees fair pensions, time off and a relaxed work environment, then maybe it’s time for the government to play a more active role in the economy. There is nothing more important than creating a happy society, and we as a nation need to work with and learn from our government in order to make it a reality, not only for ourselves, but for our children in years to come.