Unhappy at work? You are not alone

Researchers found that Brits experience a 7-8 per cent drop in happiness while at work, compared to doing activities outside of work.  

Last Updated: Feb 03, 2016, 12:56 PM IST

Zee Media Bureau

London: If you get anxious or unhappy just thinking about going to the workplace, you are not alone. As per a new study, most British people feel miserable while going to work in the same fashion when they are sick inbed.

Researchers at the University of Sussex and the London School of Economics (LSE) found that Brits experience a 7-8 per cent drop in happiness while at work, compared to doing activities outside of work.

Using a smartphone app called Mappiness, the team analysed more than a million responses.

The app sporadically asked users questions such as how they are feeling, where they are and what they are doing.

Mappiness users received a `ding` on their smartphone at random times of the day, prompting them to complete a short survey, during which they ranked their wellbeing using a sliding scale.

"Mappiness is interesting because it quizzes people in the moment, before they get a chance to reach for their rose-tinted glasses," said economist George MacKerron from University of Sussex who created the app.

For example, it is common to hear people say that they enjoy their work, but the Mappiness data show that people are happier doing almost anything other than working.

"It appears that work is highly negatively associated with momentary wellbeing: work really is disutility, as economists have traditionally assumed. At any given moment, we would rather be doing almost anything else," MacKerron noted in a paper appeared in the Economic Journal.

The most pleasurable experience reported by app users is lovemaking or intimacy, followed by leisure activities such as going to the theatre, visiting a museum or playing sport.

The data debunks the myth that Britishers love to queue as waiting or queueing was the fifth most unpopular activity.

Many people have been using the app since 2010 helping to map happiness across Britain.

The study appears in The Economic Journal.

(With Agency inputs)