How much we look forward to (or detest the thought of) going to work is something that merits consideration, especially since we generally dedicate the majority of our lives to what we do for a living. Our place of work can at times be excessively demanding, but as many of us know, it may not always be a rewarding way to spend one’s time.
It’s not difficult to determine that a good job is one that’ll do more than pay the bills; it’s one that should grant a real sense of satisfaction. Naturally, a place of work is most gratifying when there’s a supportive environment, since it’s well known that workplace drama can make any job a living nightmare. Likewise, an arena where initiative and dedication are rewarded with opportunities to grow and where compensation is equitable tends to make for a positive work experience and better workers.
It’s interesting to note that a higher income doesn’t necessarily correlate with greater job satisfaction. Studies show that the correlation between happiness and money levels out at around $75,000; apparently, when earning reaches that level, money becomes less of a concern. At that point, it isn’t necessarily the handsome bonuses and lavish company picnics that keeps employees happy. In fact, it’s a number of other less tangible key factors in the workplace that determine whether it’s with a smile or a frown that you’ll greet your colleagues on a Monday morning.
The online job board Careerbliss has collected data on which cities in the US have the happiest workers. Their 2014 study also notes which cities rank as the unhappiest places to work, on a 1-5 scale with 5 being the highest possible happiness level in the workplace. Their study assesses the key elements that make for a happy work experience: positive relationships with the boss and coworkers, good monetary compensation, opportunity for growth, tasks and responsibilities, and company culture, to name but a few. It’s useful to note which cities come out on bottom, in order to see what exactly they’re doing wrong.
The following are the 5 unhappiest cities to work in America. It’s worth mentioning, however, that no city ranked a perfect score of 5 or even 4 for that matter, which just goes to show that much improvement is needed in the workplace at a national level before anyone can say they’ve landed the ‘perfect’ job.
5. Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania: 3.583
The city of Pittsburgh Pennsylvania is the fifth unhappiest city to work based on Career Bliss’ survey. The city has a population of 306, 211 and two of the most common job industries in Pittsburgh are health care and educational services. About 20% of the city’s population are under 18 and over 16% are over 65. but for the rest of the city’s population who are active in the working world, conditions are far from satisfactory overall.
4. Denver, Colorado: 3.561
Denver has a total population of 634,265 and is located in one of America’s most picturesque states. It’s also apparently now cited as one of America’s unhappiest cities to work. The most common industries for work for men in Denver is construction and in the professional, scientific and technical sectors. For women, it’s health care and educational services. Both the construction and educational sectors are known to be labour-intensive with a compensation that usually fails to reflect the volume of work required.
3. Indianapolis, Indiana: 3.548
The city of Indianapolis has a total population of 834,852 and it’s the third unhappiest city to work for employees. The three most common job industries in Indianapolis are construction, food and accommodation services, and health care. The predominance of jobs in the service industry means many workers in Indianapolis depend on tips to survive; the current minimum wage in the area is just over $7 an hour, but there has been lobbying to increase this.
2. Orlando, Florida: 3.521
Orlando, Florida has a population of 249,562 and it’s perhaps best known for being home to Disneyworld. But far from being the happiest place on earth, it comes in as the second unhappiest city to work in the US, making it a better fit for a tourist than an employee. The most common occupations for men and women alike in Orlando are in the service industry; largely servicing Florida’s booming tourist industry. This means many workers typically have long hours, are working for minimum wage and have few perks and bonuses.
1. Cincinnati, Ohio: 3.324
Cincinnati, Ohio is the unhappiest place to work for employees in America, based on Career Bliss’ data. The city has a population of 296,550 and working age Cincinnati men and women are most commonly employed in managerial positions. Although positions like this in the tertiary industry are generally anticipated to be ‘happier’ than jobs in the service industry, for example, the high level of stress could be a contributing factor for the sadness of Cincinnati’s workers.