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The average British worker loses 70 working days a year by being unproductive in the office - but coffee machines could be the answer

Caitlin Morrison
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Trader Saul Baker (L) puts on a glum face at the S
People earning more money are more likely to take time off due to unhappiness at work (Source: Getty)

If you're angling for a pay rise, new research showing that higher earners are more likely to be unhappy at work could give you pause for thought.

A study by office services provider Service Partner One found that the average worker takes 2.8 sick days per year - and 1.5 of those days are taken due to unhappiness at work.

People on an income of £65,001-£75,000, more than double the national average of £26,500, are the most likely to take a sick day due to being unhappy with an average of 3.5 days taken a year. In contrast, those earning £25,000 or below appear to be some of the happiest at work, taking an average of just 1.1 days off sick due to being unhappy at work, the lowest of any salary bracket.

In the finance sector, the average number of sick days taken per year is three - 2.4 of those days are taken due to unhappiness at work.

City AM Have you ever taken a day off because you were unhappy at work?

Unproductive

The data also showed that the average UK worker loses 70 working days each year by being unproductive in the office - equivalent to the UK economy losing around 2.2bn working days a year.

And the answer to the productivity problem could be coffee machines - the researchers found that workers who have access to a coffee machine are seven per cent more productive than workers without, confirming fears of a national caffeine addiction.

Giving employees access to a coffee machine could help boost the UK economy by up to £42.7bn, Service Partner One said.

"Investing in your office workspace really does pay off when it comes to increased employee happiness and productivity," said Sven Hock, co-founder and chief exec at Service Partner One.

"Not only do people prioritise working in a happy office environment over extra holiday days, but by providing a little extra as standard such as fruit, snacks and beverages, you can dramatically increase your workforce’s productivity and output."

He added: “In fact, we’ve discovered that a staggering 90 per cent of the British workforce would prefer to have a really happy office environment, with great complementary amenities every day of the year, rather than be given an extra day holiday but work in an unpleasant office environment with poorly serviced amenities.”

Sector

Average no. of sick days taken a year

Average no. of sick days taken due to unhappiness at work

Healthcare

2.5

0.8

Travel & Transport

1.8

0.8

Education

2.5

0.9

Manufacturing & Utilities

3.2

1.1

Arts & Culture

5.7

1.2

Professional services

2.1

1.3

Retail, Catering & Leisure

2.3

1.3

Sales, Media & Marketing

2.8

1.5

Architecture, Engineering & Building

2.4

1.6

Property/Real Estate

3.1

1.8

Legal

3.8

1.9

IT & Telecoms

3.5

2.1

Technology

3.8

2.1

Tourism

1.8

2.1

Finance

3

2.4

HR

4.3

3.1

Other

2.2

1.2

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