And the nation’s happiest employee is …

Ever wondered who the happiest employee in the USA might be? Well, thanks to a survey, we now may have a clue.

The Keas Co. has produced an Employee Happiness Index based upon questions targeting 762 employees enrolled in employer-sponsored Keas health plans. Based on the returns, Keas suspects that the nation’s happiest employee is “a 62-year-old woman, living in Chicago, who loves the executive assistant job she’s had since 1990.”

OK, so Keas didn’t come up with a name. But odds are you have some happy, engaged workers who fit that description. Her age makes her a boomer, who tend to be the happiest and most engaged of the Big Three generations (including Gen Xers and millennials). Women tend to be happier than men, Keas found, and Midwesterners who’ve held jobs for a while are overall happier than folks from others parts of the country.

Which single factor contributes most to a happy employee? Co-workers they like make them happiest at work, said 37 percent of respondents.

Which single factor makes people unhappy? It’s no surprise, and there was no close second: the bad boss.

The researchers’ questions about happiness didn’t just explore what made people happy, or grumpy, at work, but also at home. Keas says there’s a clear link between the two, so we can assume our 62-year-old lady in Chicago enjoys a better-than-average home life.

Keas tells us: “Healthy lifestyle choices and preferences that can be seen as contributing factors to their increased verve at work include: 

  • 87 percent believe that exercise increases happiness.
  • 80 percent avoid junk food and diet fads.
  • 74 percent feel like they always or frequently get enough sleep, with 35 percent reporting they “sleep like a rock.”
  • 41 percent don’t drink alcohol at all, but those that do prefer to drink wine (26 percent).

Looking at the synergy between work and home life, Keas says that the most sexually active employees are happily employed Gen Xers, “as 82 percent have sex once to several times a week.” Must be life’s sweet spot, because just 34 percent of the happy, engaged members of the younger set — millennials — have sex once or more a week, and with boomers, the rate drops to 25 percent.

Ah, but boomers are happier overall, perhaps because they are free from certain demands and pressures. Of all these major generations, boomers ratet highest in three significant categories:

  • Happy at work: 90 percent for the boomers, tied with millennials.
  • Most engaged: 43 percent are excited about their jobs, higher than the others.
  • Looking for new challenges: boomers led the way again, with 36 percent saying they were either looking for new challenges at work or had started a new job in the past five years.
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