Wrike Survey Finds Compensation to be Most Important Factor in Happiness at Work; Nearly Two-Thirds of Happiest Employees Traded Pay for Happiness

February 26, 2019

Wrike Happiness Index Reveals Happier Employees Rank Flexibility and Meaningful Work Above Compensation

Wrike, the collaborative work management platform for high-performance teams, today released a new set of data from its Happiness Index, which focuses on compensation, benefits, and perks. According to the survey, U.S. employees rank “compensation” as the most important factor in their happiness, followed by “flexible hours/and the ability to work remotely,” and “doing meaningful work.” Happier employees rank doing meaningful work as the most important factor to workplace happiness and sixty-two percent of them have taken a pay cut to find happiness in another role at some point in their careers.


“Companies have long sought for new ways to engage employees and build loyalty with their culture and create happy workplaces with perks, but it’s hard to pin down how those efforts have added up to happiness,” said Wrike Vice President of People Operations Megan Barbier. “As more and more offices transform into digital workplaces, we’re seeing a trend where cultures are extending beyond the watercooler and into chats, digital conversation threads, and collaboration tools. This survey shows that employees that rely upon such digital platforms feel a stronger connection to their teams, and greater desire to spend time with colleagues outside of work.”


The Happiness Index also reveals a correlation between users of collaborative work management (CWM) software and a preference for team-based perks and rewards over individual compensation. The most important workplace perk to CWM users is “team events,” and only 11 percent of CWM users say “I don’t care about perks, show me the money,” compared to 41 percent of non-CWM users.


“This survey shows that engaging employees and making the workplace somewhere people want to be  is a multi-faceted effort, with competitive compensation and a meaningful work experience at the core, but with technology that enables seamless collaboration playing an increasingly greater role,” added Barbier.


Additional Key Findings:

  • The survey also reveals strong gender differences when it comes to in work happiness drivers. Men are more willing than women to trade additional monetary compensation for better perks in the workplace like onsite gyms, snacks, and happy hours. Women are 126 percent more likely to say “I don’t care about perks, show me the money.”
  • While overall, respondents cite compensation as the most important factor to their happiness, men rank “management and leadership” in the top spot. Men are also 63 percent more likely than women to say they have taken a pay cut at some point in their career to accept a job that has made them happier.
  • Those who report having taken a pay cut to improve their happiness are 63 percent more likely to say they are “mostly happy” or “elated” with their current jobs than those who have not.
  • The happiest employees rank doing meaningful work, flexible hours/the ability to work remotely, and compensation, as the top three happiness factors, respectively.


Wrike commissioned Atomik Research, an independent creative market research agency, to conduct this survey. Respondents consisted of adults who work full-time for an organization with more than 200 employees. This survey was conducted in the United States, United Kingdom, France, and Germany, and resulted in at least 1,000 respondents in each country. Respondents were evenly split between male and female. The margin of error fell within +/- 2 percentage points with a confidence interval of 95 percent.


The complete Wrike Happiness Index will be available in May 2019.

About Wrike

Wrike is the most powerful work management platform. Built for teams and organizations looking to collaborate, create, and exceed every day, Wrike brings everyone and all work into a single place to remove complexity, increase productivity, and free people up to focus on their most purposeful work. With unmatched power, versatility, and intuitiveness, Wrike is the only work management solution an organization will ever need to scale, optimize, and move fast in a competitive world. More than 20,000 happy customers power their future and come together in Wrike, including The Estée Lauder Companies, Hootsuite, Nielsen, Ogilvy, Siemens, and Tiffany & Co. Wrike is headquartered in San Diego, CA. For more information, visit www.wrike.com.