Nearly half of working mums who took part in our poll in response to David Cameron’s plans to measure the nation’s happiness think securing a well-paid job is the best thing which could happen to them in the New Year. Our survey also revealed that more than a third crave a better work-life balance.
Our survey said
We asked ”David Cameron plans to measure our happiness and wellbeing. What would make for a happy new year for you?”
Nearly half (45%) told our poll a well-paid job would guarantee the best boost to their happiness levels. But for nearly four in 10 (37%) their best way of bringing about more happiness in their lives would be by finding a better work-life balance.
Only 7% of those who took part in our survey said improved relationships with family and friends were important to upping their happiness stakes, while just 5% told the poll that better health was the most important aspect to improving their happiness and wellbeing.
What is the happiness index all about?
When the Prime Minister announced his plans in November to set up a happiness index, he said GDP – Gross Domestic Product – was too ”crude” a measure of a country’s general wellbeing although he acknowledged that economic growth remained the most ”urgent priority” . He said: ”It is high time we admitted that, taken on its own, GDP is an incomplete way of measuring a country’s progress.”
Instead, he wants a new measure of national wellbeing in a bid to ”give us a general picture of whether life is improving” which would then lead to ”government policy that is more focused not just on the bottom line, but on all those things that make life worthwhile”.
Despite criticisms, Mr Cameron has insisted his idea is neither ”woolly” nor impractical”. He said: ”You cannot capture happiness on a spreadsheet any more than you can bottle it – and if anyone was trying to reduce the whole spectrum of human happiness into one snapshot statistic I would be the first to roll my eyes.”
Next year in April, the Office for National Statistics is to ask people to rate their own wellbeing in the National Wellbeing Project. The results of the happiness index will be given in 2012.
The public are to be invited to give their views in a consultation and to suggest what type of questions and topics should be covered in the project. It is anticipated health, levels of education, inequalities in income and the environment wil feature.
While higher pay ranks as the biggest happiness indicator, according to the poll by Workingmums.co.uk, the question of work-life balance is also an important matter.
The Government has outlined plans to introduce the right to request flexible working for all parents of children under 18 from April 2011 and is to publish proposals on extending the right to all employees in January.
Gillian Nissim, founder of Workingmums.co.uk, said: ”Working parents want to be able to combine their working lives with family commitments to achieve a better work-life balance and a happy 2011. The message is clear – the Government needs to build on its existing plans for flexible working and continue the positive momentum it has achieved to date.”