How we conduct our UK Workplace Study

Surveylab conducted its UK Workplace Study for the third time in 2015. The survey was conducted amongst a random selection of people living and working in the UK via a research panel. This year, the survey was opened-up to include part-time employees and, as in past years, the participants come from a range of industry sectors and companies nationwide.

Our survey collected 2,041 responses. Two-thirds of participants work in the private sector (67%), just over one-quarter work in the public sector (27%) and six percent in the Not-For-Profit sector.

We run the study for two main reasons:

  • First, the data helps to forms our view of what is ‘normal’ and populates our benchmark data for our Employee Survey Framework. This has the benefit that our benchmark data is not skewed by lots of ‘good employers’, or that an average score of all our clients see changes as a result of particularly good/big organisations joining/leaving our client-list.
  • Second, it offers us the opportunity to explore new questions and different approaches to measurement. The UK Workplace Study forms part of Surveylab’s learning and development – testing or confirming ideas that evolve over time working with and talking to our clients and other consultants.

If you want to use this study to dig dirt on a particular company, you’re out of luck! The largest organisation represented in the data is the NHS with about 60-70 people taking the survey (I use a range because it’s not clear whether some are directly employed by the NHS or employed by someone else but working with the NHS). There are a handful of responses from the larger employers like Tesco, Royal Mail, various councils up and down the country – but the vast majority of the 2,000 responses represent just one employer.

A few other demographics from the Study are below (click the chart to zoom in):

Chart: No. Responses by Size of Organisation Chart: Age Profile of Respondents Chart: How long have you worked for your current employer?

As much as possible, we try to let the survey run its course, collecting views from all of the participants. However, we did monitor and check the data carefully. For a start, we spread out when we ran the survey over three distinct periods between March and August 2015, each over several days to include weekends to counter only getting results from office-bound people. We also carried out user-testing to watch how people completed the questionnaire. This was a first (we used an online service called and it was quite interesting listening to people’s thoughts as they answered the questions…

At the end of the survey we only wanted a maximum of 20% part-time staff to be included in the results, and we screened out all self-employed and contractors. Like any survey that we run using an omnibus panel we track and remove ‘gamers’ (people taking the survey solely for the incentive offered for taking part).

Overall, the UK Workplace Study gives us a good starting point to understand how an average employee feels about the organisation they work for. Come back for more highlights and results in the coming weeks. You can also follow me on twitter.

Want benchmark data for your organisation?

We’d be very pleased to talk: our contact info is here.

Leave a Reply