What Hawaii Feels About: Happiness at Work, Getting Ahead and Where to Get News

Surveys show most local bosses and workers are happy at work, but not most U.S. workers.

June, 2016

We wanted to know how happy you are at work, so we asked QMark Research to pose the question in two separate surveys: The BOSS survey of 404 business leaders conducted in October 2015 and a telephone survey of a random sample of 407 Hawaii residents, most of them workers, conducted in April 2016.

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ICON: MICHAEL WOHLWEND AND INDYGO / THE NOUN PROJECT

Both local groups were asked: Are you personally happy at work? We also show the results of a national survey by the Conference Board, a New York-based nonprofit research group. But note, the national survey asks a similar question with slightly different wording: Are you satisfied or dissatisfied at work?

Most Agree: Hard Work Leads to Success

Our two local surveys asked: Do you believe that, through hard work, ordinary people can prosper in Hawaii, or do you believe that money and local connections are necessary for success? Again, we assessed the results of our two local surveys with those of the most comparable national survey we could find, a 2013 Oxfam America telephone survey of 804 U.S. workers making $14 an hour or less. Oxfam’s question, asked by Hart Research Associates, was: Do you agree or disagree that “most people can get ahead if they’re willing to work hard?”

ICON: MICHAEL WOHLWEND AND INDYGO / THE NOUN PROJECT

ICON: MICHAEL WOHLWEND AND INDYGO / THE NOUN PROJECT

Ethnic Differences

48 percent of the local Caucasians polled and 42 percent of Native Hawaiians believe you need connections or monetary help to make it in Hawaii. Just 29 percent of Japanese respondents feel the same.

Where Do You Get Your Local News?

In the QMark survey of 407 Hawaii residents, respondents were asked to identify their primary source of information regarding local issues and news.

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Two significant differences between male and female respondents:

23 percent of men versus 13 percent of women rely on the printed copy of the local paper, while women are more comfortable getting their news via social media than men, 12 percent vs. 5 percent.

Half of those polled under the age of 35 list either online sources (23 percent) or social media (27 percent) as their primary sources of local news and information. Conversely, older people rely more heavily on the hard copy of the local paper.

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Hawaii Business magazine