The Happiness Benchmark: How Much Do You Need To Earn To Be Happy At Work?

September 9, 2014

In Employee Engagement

We all agree: money is an interesting topic. Why? Because we can do lots of things with it: we can purchase new clothes, offer delicious meals to our significant other or acquire the latest and trendiest iPhone on the market. We can even make money with money! Despite the many possibilities, there is one important question. How much money is required to satisfy us?

Many researchers have attempted to find the answer to this question. One of them, Doug Short, Vice President of research for Advisor Perspectives Investor Group, conducted an analysis based on American data that aimed to demonstrate that there is an optimal salary level beyond which, additional dollars earned no longer generate as much happiness as the money earned prior. This salary is estimated at $75.000 and depends on where you live. Indeed, as described in this Huffington Post article, as one’s status and cost of life increase, so does the salary level required to be satisfied.

In addition, one might think that the happiness benchmark can be revised upwards depending on the number of children one may have, or on other life factors that may incur additional expenses. The fact is, conclusions such as these ones bring out new challenges for businesses that are currently in place. Knowing that salary is not the ultimate tool for employee engagement, we need to ask ourselves, what are the conditions that must be instated to mobilize and maintain future labour, in an economy where knowledge becomes even more of a competitive advantage?

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