65% of workers in the South East feel proud to work in their profession.

East Midlands staff are the least proud of their profession, with less than half (47%) feeling proud to work in their sector. 

Workers in the South East feel most proud of their professions, according to research by recruiter Randstad.

In a survey of over 2,000 British workers, 58% of British workers said they were proud of their profession. But 65% of those in the South East said they were proud of their profession. London, the North East and Wales were also above average. At the other end of the spectrum, the East Midlands, South West and Yorkshire felt the least pride with their profession (47%, 53% and 53% respectively).

REGIONS I feel Proud of my Profession Median full-time gross weekly earnings Average Hours Work / Week (Full Time)
South East 65% £536.60 37h 47m
North East 63% £455.10 36h 42m
Wales 63% £452.60 36h 58m
Scotland 62% £497.60 36h 36m
London 60% £652.80 38h 24m
East of England 58% £495.20 38h 21m
North West 58% £469.90 37h 2m
AVERAGE 58% £505.90 37h 40m
West Midlands 57% £469.20 37h 37m
Yorkshire & Humberside 53% £464.70 37h 13m
South West 53% £467.00 37h 32m
East Midlands 47% £464.40 37h 51m

In regions where employees felt least proud of their profession, staff tend to spend less time at work than the national average, suggesting that employers need to make staff feel proud of their profession or they risk creating a disillusioned workforce.

Mark Bull, CEO of Randstad UK, explained: “In order to attract and retain a talented, dedicated workforce, employers need to make their staff feel proud of what they do. No one wants to go to work each day without feeling proud of their careers – and the research proves that employees who fall into this category often spend less time each week at work. Pride in your profession isn’t just good for employees – it’s good for business.”

Less proud – less committed?

In most of the regions where the level of professional pride was below the national average, employees spent fewer hours at work. For instance, only 53% of those in the Yorkshire & Humberside felt proud of their profession, and their working hours of 37 hours and 13 minutes per week are below the weekly average. By contrast, 60% of those in London felt proud of their work, and their average working hours of 38 hours and 24 minutes per week are significantly higher than the national average.

Mark Bull explains: “A sense of pride in the workplace doesn’t automatically mean that employees are more committed to their jobs, but a lack of it presents a very real, organisational risk. When employees are less engaged with their profession, they are less likely to go above and beyond the minimum requirement in terms of their weekly hours.”

The research also compared professional pride with pay in different sectors – and found no correlation between the two. Only two regions receive higher than the average weekly pay – London, where employees receive an average weekly salary of £652.80, and the South East, where employees receive an average of £536.60. 

Mark Bull continued: “There are clearly a variety of factors at play here. Outside London and the South East, professional pride among employees isn’t just about pay. It relates to an intrinsic sense of what working in a particular profession means to people.  Of all the regions which receive lower than average pay, more than half still feel proud of their professions.”

UK corporate geography

While many of the country’s largest corporate organisations are based in London, it is far from the only commercial centre in the country. For example, there are a total of 213 branches in the UK of the Big Four and Mid-Tier accountancy firms in the UK, and only 13% of these (28 branches) are based in the capital. In addition, a wide variety of major UK organisations are based outside of London, ranging from Morrisons, Asda, Yorkshire Bank and the BBC.

Mark Bull continued: “The perception of London as the corporate centre of the country is no longer accurate, and it would be wrong to suggest that this was behind the findings in terms of professional pride. Major organisations operate in all areas of the country so the results cannot be attributed to simple geography.”

Work-Life Balance

Randstad also compared the levels of professional pride in different regions with the levels of happiness recorded in each area as part of a recent analysis of work-life balance. In the majority of regions where employees felt high levels of professional pride, employees also felt happy with their work-life balance. Those in the South East, North East, London and the North West all fell into this category. By contrast, in the majority of those regions where employees felt less pride in their profession, workers also felt unhappy with their work-life balance. The West Midlands, South West and East Midlands all fell into this category.

Mark Bull continued: “The findings show that when employees feel proud of their professions, they tend to be happier with their work-life balance. They tend not to worry so much about watching the clock and monitoring their hours, and are more committed to their jobs as a result. If employers can motivate their staff to feel a sense of professional pride, they can harness the power of a truly engaged workforce – who are likely to be happier and more committed in their day-to-day work.”