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Etsy Employees Are Happier than Most

Etsy’s nearly 500 employees are much happier than most, and why not? The online marketplace offers employees generous leave policies, dog-friendly offices, arts and crafts workshops and a ski trip. Not to mention a “Breathing Room” to host meditation and yoga, accessible to employees at any time.

The company’s Happiness Survey measures “Personal Well-Being,” which looks at employees’ positive emotions, engagement in day-to-day tasks, sense of belonging and determination – Etsy employees earned a score of 84%.

Etsy also said overall employee satisfaction was 80% compared to the average American company’s score of 60%. The areas in which most Etsy employees expressed dissatisfaction were related to job stress, and the inability to accomplish all that is needed during working hours. “We did exceptionally well in Values Alignment, at 91%,” Etsy said. “The category that we need to work on most is Workload at 46%.”

Etsy had 496 employees as of January 2014, the majority Brooklyn (347) in and Hudson, NY (45). It has 32 remote workers in the U.S. and 12 remotes internationally. The remaining employees are based in the following locations:

Dublin: 19
London: 13
Berlin: 11
San Francisco: 5
Toronto: 5
Paris: 5
Sydney: 2

Eight-five percent of employees completed the survey. Female and male employees’ responses were generally comparable in most categories, and Etsy said it saw the greatest disparities related to feedback and recognition, communication, and workload.

Etsy noted that the survey was “just a measure” and said it becomes powerful “when we use the information we’ve collected to increase our employees’ actual well being.”

Etsy reported the survey results in its Etsy Values & Impact Annual Report 2013, where the company revealed what is likely the most surprising thing you probably didn’t know about Etsy: its Ministry of Unusual Business, founded in 2013.

“The Ministry (of Unusual Business) is a shadow organization within Etsy that works to inspire, connect, surprise, and delight Etsy employees. Its operations are secret, though all employees around the world are empowered to call upon The Ministry, and participate in Ministry actions. Among other programs, The Ministry anonymously recognizes people for good work through notes of recognition and small gifts. Capitalizing on the psychological importance of surprise, employees are nominated for specific work and then receive an unexpected gift from The Ministry thanking them for their efforts.”

You can find more information and a link to the full report on the Etsy blog.

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Ina Steiner
Ina Steiner
Ina Steiner is co-founder and Editor of EcommerceBytes and has been reporting on ecommerce since 1999. She's a widely cited authority on marketplace selling and is author of "Turn eBay Data Into Dollars" (McGraw-Hill 2006). Her blog was featured in the book, "Blogging Heroes" (Wiley 2008). She is a member of the Online News Association (Sep 2005 - present) and Investigative Reporters and Editors (Mar 2006 - present). Follow her on Twitter at @ecommercebytes and send news tips to ina@ecommercebytes.com. See disclosure at EcommerceBytes.com/disclosure/.