This is a subject I have found foreign for many years. I was searching awareness days/weeks in google not too long ago and found out the week 20th – 24th September 2021 is actually International week of happiness at work week. My first thought was, this would make a great post, to talk about what that actually looks like and how you can achieve it.
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What is happiness at work?
According to Wikipedia, “Happiness at work is the feeling that employee really enjoy what they do and they are proud of themselves. They enjoy people being around, thus they have better performance”. This is an interesting concept and has had me really thinking about it.
Have you heard of ‘Arbedjsglæde‘?
Arbedjsglæde is more commonly know as happiness found by doing something. This is achieved by loving what you are doing, feeling comfortable with the people you work with, a feeling of comfort with the financial benefit of the work you are doing, feeling acknowledged and valued at our workplace.
I have had my fair share of different jobs and can’t say I have had much happiness in many of them. However now, I am very happy in my work and even don’t mind the 7:30am start, which if you knew me that is really something because I love my sleep. It is my aim to keep this feeling up for as long as possible. Even when a day is tough, I look for something that brings me joy in it and it just changes it all around.
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Why is happiness at work important?
This is a simple one… Happy employees produce their best work and stay in their jobs. Lowering the staff turnover in a company has numerous benefits, mainly time taken to re-train people. It also shows the outside world that that company treats their employees really well. I know that I want to do my best work for my bosses and it really upsets me when I do things wrong because their approval matters to me. In previous jobs, I fell into the trap of ‘I don’t get paid enough/treated well enough to care about doing a good job’. It’s a vicious circle that one. The worse your work ethic gets the more miserable your boss can make you life.
Statistics state that happy employees stay in their job 4 times longer, are 12% more productive and have 65% more energy than unhappy ones.
How to achieve happiness at work?
First, you need to establish exactly the kind of work you actually enjoy. Yes, I know, that’s an obvious one. This stumped me for a while. I would enjoy a job for a short time and then it would change and by the 10 month mark came I was so unbelievably unhappy I would leave. It’s good to try different types of jobs but don’t jump around too much. It doesn’t look good on your CV if you can’t stay in a job for any length of time. I always wanted to be a ballet teacher, but now work in an office. Funny how things work out.
In our office, we have the radio playing in the kitchen and the music drifts through the working area. Music is amazing at lifting the spirit in the office. If your boss will allow it, have some quiet music on because you will see a massive difference in the environment around you.
Try and get on with your colleagues. This was a downfall of mine in my last position. A colleague and I clashed on a fundamental level and sniped at each other when ever we were in the same room. It makes for a very negative working environment and trust me it’s not worth it. There will always be people you won’t like at work but keeping it professional and staying out of their way is the way forward. They don’t need to be your friend.
Dress professionally. I love this one because I love dressing nicely. This also gets you into the right work mindset for work. Look the part and your mind will follow suit.
Have a tidy desk. I am naturally quite an untidy person but I have come to understand the importance of a clean and tidy workspace. If your desk is messy, then so will your work be. A tidy desk is a tidy mind and a tidy mind makes for the best work outcome.
Make sure you have a good work-life balance. This will help with you productivity and general happiness in your life. The top countries with the best work life balance for their people include the Netherlands, Italy and Denmark. Unfortunately, the UK didn’t even feature in the top 12 for 2019. We need to maintain a better work life balance and then our lives would be so much happier.
Happiness is a direction, not a place.Sydney J Harris
Are you happy in your job? How did you achieve your happiness at work? I would love to hear some of your suggestions on how to achieve happiness and maintain it at work.
Until next time…