Happiness at work
Oct 12, 2020

Happiness at work

We define happiness at work as feeling an overall sense of enjoyment at work, being able to gracefully handle setbacks, connecting with colleagues, coworkers, clients, customers and knowing that your work matters to yourself and your organization.

  • Being happier at work is tied to better health and well being more creative and effective problem solving more productivity and innovation, and faster career development.
  • People who are happier at work are more authentic, more committed and driven to work, and more willing to contribute beyond their job description; they also find more flow and meaning in their work.

Below are some of the facts on how to be happy at work.

  • Purpose

Our purpose is a reflection of our core values, and we feel more purposeful at work when our everyday behaviours and decisions align with those values. As individuals, bringing more passion and purpose to work can mean declaration ourselves in formulating and conducting our day-to-day tasks connecting what we do to what we believe in and care about. 

If you are in a position of influence, you can promote purpose by making core values explicit at the workplace, and implementing policies that align people’s day-to-day experiences with core values.

  • Engagement.

There are three main ways to increase engagement at work. First, fold in some playfulness, creativity, and levity. 

Second, give people more ownership over their day-to-day schedule, tasks, and professional development, and build in opportunities to learn and grow. 

Finally, adopt a restless schedule and make space for the immersive, lose-track-of-time experience of flow at work.

  • Flexibility

The ability to handle, adapt to, and productively learn from setbacks, failures, and disappointments is critical to overall happiness at work. Flexibility doesn’t mean trying to prevent difficulties, extinguish stress, or avoid confrontation; it means being able to manage challenges at work with authenticity and grace. To strengthen your flexibility at work, perhaps the most promising technique is to get better mindfulness. Mindfulness can be a starting point for revising our learned habits of self-criticizing or blaming others or getting preoccupied about past or future defeats, that make it hard to manage difficult moments at work. 

  • Kindness

Finally, we’re happier at work when we tap into our natural tendency towards kindness orienting our thoughts, feelings, and actions towards care for others and genuinely supportive social bonds. Being kind at work involves treating others with dignity and respect, extending empathy and compassion, practising appreciation, and constructively managing conflicts, being civil means build trust sharing resources, feedback, and credit; and being a good listener.

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