Person holding smiley face signPay is important but not the end-all: compensation, flexible hours,and “doing meaningful work” are the top contributing factors tohappiness. (Photo: Shutterstock)

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The Beatles were right, money can't buy love, and, it seems,happiness. According to a survey released by Wrike, “From Positivity to Productivity: Exposing the TruthBehind Workplace Happiness,” more than 50 percent ofworkers in the U.S. prefer having a happy environment over pay.

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The survey that included 1,000 workers each in the U.S., U.K.,France and Germany revealed 58 percent of U.S. and 54percent of U.K. workers have taken a pay cut to accept a job thatmade them happier. Four in 10 respondents globally reported takinga pay cut to accept a position that made them happier.

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Also, notes the survey, happiness and productivity are heavilylinked, with 91 percent of elated employees saying theyare “very productive” at work and happy employees are30 percent more likely to say their office diversity is“above average” than unhappy employees.

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Related: 6 key factors of workplacehappiness

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According to the survey, when asked to rank the top factors thatimpact their workplace happiness, the happiest employees rankmanagement and leadership below “flexible hours” and “companyculture.” Even the unhappiest employees rank it below“compensation” and “doing meaningful work.”

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“Compensation,” “flexible hours,” and “doing meaningful work”are the top contributing factors to happiness. It stands to reasonthat these factors are just as influential as (if not moreinfluential than) management.

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The report stresses that managers still have an important job toplay. It's important that everyone is on the same page and workingtoward the same goals. Scheduling regular discussions on companymission and direction can help answer some questions and improveemployee engagement. Hosting post-mortem sessions after bigprojects are completed helps celebrate successes and learn fromfailures.

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What happy employees want and need, according to the reportare:

  • Rewards that value their time, over forced bonding
  • Happy employees are more productive
  • Happy employees hit the ground running
  • Happy employees thrive in a diverse work environment
  • Happy employees want to know their work is meaningful

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