Warner Bros. may have been onto something when it made The Lego Movie, about a happy-go-lucky, yet somewhat conformist, Lego construction worker named Emmet Brickowski, who reluctantly assumes the role of the prophesied “Special” and saves Legoland from the evil Lord Business.
The opening scene of the movie features Emmet and his fellow construction workers happily going about their work and singing the hit (and only) single in Legoland, “Everything is Awesome!”
And, indeed, things are pretty awesome for construction workers, who are apparently the happiest employees on Earth according to TINYpulse’s 2015 Best Industry Ranking Report which surveyed over 30,000 employees across more than 500 companies divided into 12 industry segments.
The euphoria of construction workers, explains the report, may be due in part to macro-economic drivers. Construction, after all, was one of the hardest hit industries during the Great Recession, but has since bounced back from a recession low of $542 billion, or 3.6% of GDP, in 2010, to $617 billion, or 3.7% of GDP, in 2013. This, in turn, has resulted in more demand and correspondingly higher salaries in the construction industry. And who wouldn’t be happier with more cash in their pocket books, right?
But macro-economic trends are only part of the equation says the report. Workplace collegiality, as some of you might have suspected, also played a big role in boosting the happiness barometer of construction workers. As does beer. At least in Australia. In an interview with the general manager of an Australian home-building company, the general manager reflected:
This is an industry that has many walks of life with people working in an office to people out on site. One thing that unites everyone at the end of the day is kicking back for a little bit with a few beers and talking stuff out – the good and the bad. If people have an issue, they will come see a manager during office hours, but sometimes the best environment is when people can relax a bit and just have a drink alongside a manager.
After looking at the various reasons construction workers gave for their job satisfaction, from job recognition to work autonomy, two major themes stood out: Construction workers like their colleagues, and they like what they do and the projects they work on:
The biggest reason I would rate my response as [extremely happy] is also the greatest resource that [my company] has – the people whom I work with.
I am really enjoying my role at the moment, very busy, but there are lots of positives and I think things are going in the right direction.
I am very happy at work. I really like what I do, and I get to learn something new every day to improve what I do already. I enjoy my work and working with my coworkers.
Well, you can’t argue with that. As they say, it’s “cool” to be part of a team.