87% of Small Business Employees Having More Fun than Big Business Workers

2018 Small Business Happiness Survey from Aflac

Despite the challenges of operating a small business, more employees feel they are having more fun working for small businesses than working for big businesses.

Yep, the perception out there is that it’s a lot more fun to work for a small business than a big one. At least that’s what a recent small businesses happiness survey by voluntary insurance firm Aflac found.

2018 Small Business Happiness Survey

Aflac conducted its 2018 Small Business Happiness Survey with 1,000 small business employees ages 18 and older across the U.S. to determine the state of small business.

The Columbus, Georgia-based insurance company found that a whopping 87% of small business employees somewhat or strongly agree that working for a small business is more fun than working at a large business. About half of employees say they are actually happiest working at a small business, which Aflac defined as an organization with 3 to 49 employees.

Part of the reason a majority of employees perceive working for a small business to be more fun is because they think it to be less stressful than working for big businesses. Pay equity in small businesses is on the rise, which is another reason employees are happier working at a small business. Four in five small business employees surveyed think they are being compensated equally with their co-workers.

“Further, almost 9 in 10 [small business] employees feel like they have the opportunity to voice their ideas and opinions and have them heard and listened,” Aflac writes in its survey findings.

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Value of Small Business Employee Happiness

Almost all respondents (91%) said they believe employee happiness is at least somewhat important to their company leadership. In fact, more than half of all small business employees surveyed (55%) reported that employee happiness is very important to their leadership.

When small business employees are having fun and happy in their jobs, they are also more engaged in their roles. And when they are more engaged, they are more productive and satisfied in the business. Needless to say, this can make a big difference in the success of your small business.

“When it comes down to the best part of working for a small business overall, ‘feeling like a family’ has the highest rating among all employees surveyed,” Aflac reports.

Make Your Small Business a Happy Place to Work

If you would like to make your small business a more happy place for employees to work, Aflec notes that the top perceived benefits of working for a small business include more flexible scheduling and feeling more appreciated. Those are key areas you should look at improving in your small business.

Moreover, many small business employees agree that having an impact at work and seeing the fruits of their labor makes them very happy. Try recognizing the efforts of your small business employees and also highlighting the impact they have in the business regularly to boost happiness levels.

Although salary and health care coverage rank as top challenges of working for a small business, followed closely by finding coverage or a backup when co-workers need to take time off, overall, small business employees’ perceptions of the future of the small business industry are very positive.

“Though the future of health care reform and recent government regulations might make them [small business employees] uneasy, results show that small business employees are looking on the bright side,” Aflac concludes in its research findings.

Photo via Shutterstock


David William David William is a Staff Writer for Small Business Trends. He covers franchises, brick and mortar businesses, public policy and other small business issues. He is also founding editor of WebWriterSpotlight.

2 Reactions
  1. Being a little tiny cog in a huge machine isn’t much fun. Results don’t surprise me.

  2. This is because they have more freedom. Working is not as strict or rigid as in bigger businesses.