Happiness at work monitor: figures and trends every month


By Mare Derks | February 4, 2021

Welcome to this monthly blog about happiness at work in the Netherlands (and soon about happiness at work in the world!)  We are 2DAYSMOOD, a driver of employee happiness and winning organizational cultures, and an expert in the ESS 3.0: the employee satisfaction survey, but faster, simpler and always relevant insights!

Every week we collect data on excitement, (dis)satisfaction and stress of employees and managers, in various organizations from 20 different sectors, via more than 4000 surveys. Participating organizations can view their own data in real time. We bundle the anonymous data every month and paint a representative trend picture of the workers' mood. We also delve deeper into a specific theme, such as one of the drivers of engagement and happiness.

Does your team or organization also measure the level of stress and excitement (with 2DAYSMOOD)? Or is there an employee satisfaction survey being done in relation to working from home?

Then use our charts as a benchmark!

Here are some guidelines
  1. Excitement, among other moods, is measured through 8 validated emotions, divided over the axes energy and pleasure. Emotions that are both pleasant and energetic (cheerful or enthusiastic) belong to excitement. A source of innovation and creativity.
  2. When energy decreases but the pleasant mood remains, you get satisfaction. This often leads to stability and productivity in work and behavior.
  3. With these insights we create the formula: excitement + satisfaction = happiness at work = more successful organization.
  4. A good objective for a profitable level of happiness at work is that moods should ideally be 75% positive and 25% negative. Teams function best in that 3: 1 balance!
  5. This is threatened if stress (frustrated or tense) and / or dissatisfaction (tired or sad) occur for a long time. So pay attention to the development of trends! In the worst case, this will lead to employees dropping out or leaving the company.
  6. A short stress period, after which enough recovery can occur, is not bad and even helpful with deadlines. Think of an average stress level of max. 20%.
  7. Hopefully these guidelines provide insight, but ultimately it's important that you create your own internal benchmark and make positive change from there.
  8. We can help with this with a free quick scan!

Happiness at work figures January 2021


In January 2021, we see that employees feel as follows during work: 32% satisfied, 25% ecxited, 23% dissatisfied and 20% stressed. That is a score that makes organizations vulnerable. Compared to our benchmark guidelines and January 2020 (pre-corona), we experience 12% more negative emotions. In fact, we are almost on a 50/50 split of positive and negative moods. A working week shouldn't look like this, right?

What's more worrying is the fact that negative moods have been high for such a long time. Due to the Covid crisis (and working from home), 3 in 10 Dutch people experience feelings of loneliness, among young people that ratio has even increased to 5 in 10. (Source: Op1, 3 Feb 2021)

Professor of neuropsychology Erik Scherder discusses this in talk show Op1 and says: ''Loneliness is very much linked to stress, and chronic stress makes your brain more vulnerable. You produce a lot of cortisol, the stress hormone. Over time, this substance has a negative impact not only on your blood vessel system, but also on a number of brain areas that are related to, for example, memory, good planning skills and your reward mechanism."

For many remote workers the latter will be recognizable, the lack of that energy or kick that you usually get after successfully completing tasks or goals. This nice feeling of reward is drastically less when you experience stress or when you cannot share it with others (close to you).

How are we going to improve this now? We cannot change the context, so everyone in the organization has to get to work themselves. Do you best to find your energy sources and resilience!

TIP: Perhaps these 3 trainable soft skills can help.

Highlighted: vitality of employees and managers


Since the Covid outbreak, we have seen that employees give their vitality an average of 3.6 on a scale of 5. In school grades a B+, which seems more than sufficient. It is striking though, that they score a 4.2 on the question "How important do you find an energetic feeling for your happiness at work?" In the desired situation, their vitality is an A+, not just sufficient, but (very) good. There is a mismatch, which means that improvement and more employee happiness can be achieved here. The data also shows a difference in vitality between managers and employees. It is good to be aware of this as a manager, how can you be an (even better) role model?

What is Vitality? Why is it important?

Vitality is a determining factor for employee engagement and happiness. Certainly in times of crisis and social distance, this factor weighs extra heavily. Vitality means that employees are able and willing to work under high work pressure or in stressful, insecure situations. It is an intrinsic source of energy that can be positively influenced by, among other things, a healthy lifestyle and work environment, meaning and support from social (work) relationships.

Vitality is one of the 15 drivers in the Employee Happiness Model®.

See you next month for more data and insights! 



less burnouts


less absenteeism


less turnover


more motivation


more innovation


more energy


higher productivity


more sales success


Engaged employees deliver the best effort and results

When employees feel engaged and happy, the positive effects are significant! From increasing productivity and energy to decreasing absenteeism and turnover. But how do you adjust your working climate to what teams need?

2DAYSMOOD researched, i.c.w. Utrecht University, which factors determine employee happiness and engagement. For example leadership, appreciation or work-life balance. They are part of our proven method ‘from data to deeds‘. Using simple surveys you gain more control over the mood in teams, and the risks and strengths of your culture!

Leverage the science

Profit from happiness

Free quick scan and advice

Do you want to increase happiness in your team or organization? Collect feedback on a specific subject? Monitor stress and satisfaction in real-time? Or do you need a baseline survey to get insight in the strengths and risks of your working climate?

We are happy to help with your specific challenge, using:

  • Our expertise, experience and energy!
  • Data from your teams (via a quick scan)
  1. Leave your details here so we can get in touch
  2. We will discuss your challenges and give advice
  3. After a live demo we will propose a starting plan

Questions for our strategic happiness expert?


Dr. Marvin Deitz


+1 877 560 5790

Get in touch!

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