Happiest UK cities with the highest employee satisfaction revealed - see the full list

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A study by company review website Glassdoor has revealed which cities in the UK are the happiest to work in.

After a year that will long be remembered for its strikes, worker dissatisfaction and inflation, a study has revealed exactly where in the UKworkers are most content. The job review site Glassdoor looked at several factors in major cities and regions around the UK to work out the top 20 happiest places to work.

The study looked at travel-to-work areas, a geography created by the Office of National Statistics (ONS), and looked at seven different factors; overall job satisfaction, career opportunities, culture and values, positive business outlook, compensation and benefits, senior leadership, and work-life balance - all which were filled out by 100,000 anonymous workers for 20 cities leaving reviews on Glassdoor.

Smaller cities top the list of most satisfied workers, with Cambridge topping the list with a rating of 3.91 out of a total of five. Close behind are southern coastal cities Brighton and Bristol with 3.88 and 3.87 respectively. Newcastle comes in at number four on the list, with the north eastern city’s employees most satisfied with their employers’ diversity and inclusion policies.

The biggest surprise on the list is London placing fifth, despite being the capital and the UK economic centre. According to Glassdoor, London’s low ranking comes down to the high cost of living.

“Firstly, London weighting may not cover the differential in the cost of living – although full-time London employees earn 27 percent more than the UK median, the cost of living is much higher as well”, the company said. “Households in the capital must spend up to 58 percent more than other urban UK households for a basic standard of living.

“Secondly, some academic research has suggested that relative income positioning (or income inequality) is a stronger predictor of happiness than absolute income, and London’s income inequality is higher than anywhere else in the UK. The top 20 percent of London full-time workers earn over £66k, 57 percent higher than the median worker. In the UK as a whole, this same figure is only 40 percent.”

The 20 happiest places to work in the UK

The University of Cambridge is one of 24 Russell group universities (image: Adobe)The University of Cambridge is one of 24 Russell group universities (image: Adobe)
The University of Cambridge is one of 24 Russell group universities (image: Adobe) | Pawel Pajor - stock.adobe.com
  1. Cambridge – 3.91
  2. Brighton – 3.88
  3. Bristol – 3.87
  4. Newcastle – 3.87
  5. London – 3.85
  6. Leeds – 3.84
  7. Nottingham – 3.81
  8. Manchester – 3.8
  9. Oxford – 3.8
  10. Cardiff – 3.77
  11. Leicester - 3.75
  12. Southampton - 3.74
  13. Milton Keynes - 3.74
  14. Birmingham - 3.73
  15. Edinburgh - 3.73
  16. Glasgow - 3.70
  17. Belfast - 3.69
  18. Coventry - 3.66
  19. Sheffield - 3.66
  20. Liverpool - 3.65

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