Money is not the key to workplace happiness for Generation Y

Money is not the key to happiness for Generation Y employees, according to a national survey of 18-35 year olds carried out by Matrix Recruitment Group. The survey, which had 500 respondents, examined Generation Y’s attitudes to work and revealed that co-workers have the biggest impact on workplace happiness with 58% of under 35’s stating that the people they work with are the reason for their happiness. A good work/life balance (36.5%) and working environment (34%) are also rated highly.

Surprisingly, even an easy commute was rated higher than salary, with almost 29% saying that their commute contributed to making them happy in work, while only 27% felt their salary was the reason for their happiness in their current roles.

When it comes to looking for a new role however, salary is second highest on the list of priorities for under 35’s, with 51% saying it was one of the most important factors when wanting to move job, while the pursuit of a happy work life balance is the top reason for wanting to move.

Speaking about the survey results, Kieran McKeown, CEO, Matrix Recruitment Group said, “It is very interesting for us to discover that while employees’ rate salary as a high priority when looking for a new role, it is actually further down the agenda than you would think for employees who are happy in their current roles. It is interesting to see that Generation Y places a much greater emphasis on work/life balance and relationships with co-workers , than money.”

According to the survey results, Generation Y are also a lot more likely to turn to friends and family when looking for career advice, with 81.5% saying they rely on friends and family for guidance while only 23.4% say that they use, or have used, a Recruitment Consultant. When asked about career path planning, 53.1% of 18 to 35 year olds did not have a career plan but wished they had sought out advice when deciding their career path and confessed to still needing help with this decision.

In relation to career progression and growth, 51.3% expressed that there was room for growth within their current position. Interestingly, over half of those surveyed would be willing to take a lower level position if it offered better opportunities for career growth than their current position.

Kieran Mc Keown, CEO of Matrix Recruitment Group continued, “It is common for people to turn to those closest to them for career advice but it is important for job hunters to consider all the options available when planning their career path. Seeking professional advice can be very helpful in these circumstances. We also found it interesting that those surveyed are willing to take chances and would be willing to move into a lower level position within their organisation in order to benefit their career progression.”

Matrix Recruitment Group provide recruitment, HR support and career guidance services, with offices based in Dublin, Waterford, Athlone, Galway and Carlow. For more information please visit,

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