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UK workers value culture and recognition over pay, survey finds


Eight in 10 UK workers would turn down a large salary increase if it meant working in an environment they didn’t like, according to research by the Association of Accounting Technicians (AAT).

The AAT surveyed 2,000 British workers to find out the most important factors for happiness at work.

Workers rated responsibility, recognition and relationships with co-workers as more likely to make them happy than pay. When asked why they stay in their current positions, the top three reasons were good relationships with work colleagues, enjoying the role and getting on well with the boss.

Pay was ranked sixth, behind having a manageable commute.

AAT chief executive Mark Farrar said: "It’s interesting how much status and recognition play a big part in happiness at work, alongside the promise of progression.

"Many respondents had turned down higher paid jobs because it would have meant less time with the family and a poor work-life balance."

Three-quarters of those surveyed said they would not accept a job that gave them more money if it meant taking on a lot more stress.

AAT head of HR Olivia Hill said the findings show that people are far more aware of the negative impact that stress can have on their health and wellbeing.

“One way to avoid stress is to work in an environment that you find comfortable, with people you like and a manageable workload," she said.