Job satisfaction largely depends on how employees interact with each other at work, according to a study from Barclays.

The research, launched to coincide with Barclays’ debate on youth employability on 15th April, found that the most likely factor to make people happy in the workplace was getting on with their colleagues (26%). This is followed by having a good work/life balance (24%), believing in what they are doing (21%) and feeling their role is both useful and mentally challenging (20%).

Kirstie Mackey, Head of LifeSkills created with Barclays, said:

“It’s interesting to see that such a broad range of factors make people happy at work. It’s also telling that environmental factors are so important. This suggests that although the industry will always be an important consideration for young people in choosing a career, they need to be thinking in broader terms about the work environment that they think will suit them. It’s also vital that businesses recognise what it is that employees are looking for, so that they can create a happy, engaged workforce.”

Barclays will be hosting a debate about how best to tackle youth unemployment on Wednesday, 15th April at the Royal Institute. The panel will be debating the proposition: ‘Do what you love is a dangerous modern myth’ including discussion around how careers advice in schools affects children’s career prospects.

Founder of Lady Geek and Barclays debate panellist, Belinda Parmar said: 

“When I first started my degree in languages, I had a romantic and unrealistic vision of what career I would have after– the reality was very different where I struggled to get a job. Had I thought earlier about the job options open to me, I would not have studied languages. I wanted to take part in Barclays debate to encourage more young people to think not only about doing “what they love” but what will be in demand and a route to a fulfilling successful career.”

The top ten factors that make people happy at work are:

  1. I get on well with my colleagues (26%)
  2. I have a good work life balance (24%)
  3. It’s something I believe in (21%)
  4. I think what I do is useful (20%) and I get to use my brain (20%)
  5. There is a good atmosphere in the office (17%)
  6. I am financially well rewarded (15.95%)
  7. I have flexible working conditions (15.80%)
  8. I feel recognised and appreciated (15%)
  9. I am doing something challenging (14%)
  10. I have a lot of responsibility (13%)






Steff joined the HRreview editorial team in November 2014. A former event coordinator and manager, Steff has spent several years working in online journalism. She is a graduate of Middlessex University with a BA in Television Production and will complete a Master's degree in Journalism from the University of Westminster in the summer of 2015.