[REPORT] Butterfly's Happiness Index 2016

2016 has been a year of ups and downs. In addition to the rigor of everyday work life, employees experienced external stressors in the form of a tumultuous road to the U.S. presidential election, a historic Brexit vote, the loss of some of our favorite cultural icons and countless more events.
As a look-back at what has been a wild year, Butterfly has released a new report uncovering employee happiness trends across more than 5,000 people in the U.S. and EMEA. The study was compiled by aggregating and analyzing data from a sample of our users from January to November 2016.
The purpose of the study was to understand how employees’ overall happiness – how they are generally feeling both within and outside of the workplace – correlates to five key drivers that are scientifically proven to influence employee happiness. Those drivers are: Management; Roles & Responsibilities; Team’s Work/Colleagues; Work/Life Balance; and Workplace/Environment.
Butterfly’s “Happiness Index” tracked employees’ overall happiness over the course of the year, in addition to their satisfaction around these key drivers. Here’s what we found:

  • The driver that most correlates with overall happiness is Work/Life Balance, followed by Workplace/Environment; Roles & Responsibilities and Management. Team’s Work/Colleagues, or social dynamics among teams, was the least correlated to overall happiness.
  • Despite European employees generally enjoying greater perks when it comes to work/life balance, they didn’t report feeling more “balanced” than their U.S. counterparts in 2016.
  • Major socio-political and economic events such as Brexit and the U.S. Presidential Election did not materially influence overall happiness across the U.S. and EMEA. Rather, ebbs and flows and happiness were more likely influenced by micro-trends occurring within the workplace.

“It makes a lot of sense to measure employee happiness in a way that transcends the workplace and thus presents a more holistic picture of the state of employee happiness,” said Jan-Emmanuel de Neve, Associate Professor of Economics & Strategy at the University of Oxford. “We know through research that the general well being of an employee is causally related to productivity and performance — as such, managers are advised to look beyond just the traditional job satisfaction item and should seek to improve the work/life balance of employees, as the data from Butterfly clearly indicate.”
Download this year’s “Happiness Index” here.