There’s been a lot of talk in the media lately about measuring how happy we are. A recent Gallup poll of happiness in different countries found Denmark was the winner, with 82 per cent of respondents saying they were happy. In China, this figure was just six per cent.


At the end of last year there was a lot of talk around David Cameron’s plan to discover what makes the nation content: to focus not just on GDP but GWB – general wellbeing. The idea that money can’t buy you happiness isn’t a new one, but it’s gaining momentum.


The Camping and Caravanning Club latched onto this, and recently polled 1,000 adults and 500 children aged 7-11 who camp, and 1,000 adults and 500 children aged 7-11 who have never camped. They published the results of the research under the banner ‘Welcome to Real Richness’.


“Just ask anyone who goes camping about the ‘money can’t buy’ experiences they have on every trip. How it’s a priceless chance to get closer to nature – and back in touch with who you really are,” says the Club. Indeed, 93% of those polled said camping can make you happier.


I can’t argue with that, and it got me thinking: enjoying your job plays a major part in personal happiness, so what’s the best company to work for in our industry? I reckon it might just be water pumps manufacturer, Whale.


For the second year running, the Bangor-based firm has appeared in The Sunday Times Best 100 Small Companies to work for. Employees are polled, with confidence in the management team and stress levels among criteria measured, and it seems Whale’s team is a happy bunch. It’s no small praise for the firm, which last year celebrated its 200th birthday.

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I took part in the bi-centennial celebrations last year, which included a factory tour. “We have 23 engineers with 425 years experience between them,” said proud MD Patrick Hurst. The key to continued success seems to be the company’s commitment to innovation. Patrick actively encourages an open ideas forum among his staff, and invests heavily in training.


I saw accelerated lifetime testing of products, and met the work force, who as you might expect were a friendly bunch that modelled and hammed happily for the camera. Confident in the senior team and unstressed in the workplace? Check, and check again. At 200 years old, it seems Whale is beginning to hit its stride.


If you work in the camping industry – whether you’re a campsite warden, a factory fitter or a service supplier – and you reckon you’re even happier than Whale’s team, I’d love to hear from you! Email me at [email protected].


Rob Ganley, editor