Week of Happiness at Work

What makes you happy in your work?

For many people, happiness at work is too abstract, elusive, vague, or wishy-washy as a concept. It’s ‘just a feeling’. Maybe it does really exist, but you don’t dwell on it. After all, being happy at work does not pay the bills at the end of the month…

Happiness at work is important to an organisation because a happy employee is generally more productive. Besides, wouldn’t you prefer to be surrounded by people who are relaxed and confident? We would like to reflect on this during the Week of Happiness at Work. How do you experience happiness at work?

Happiness at work depends on the individual, situation or location

A question like this is obviously difficult to answer: happiness is very personal. It’s not like a chat about the weather, or telling stories about your pet’s escapades.

Happiness at work: something appeals to you, you experience positive feelings. But you may not always be able to put it into words.

As Happiness at work can have quite an impact on your life at both a conscious and subconscious level, it is important to be aware of it. Because your definition of happiness at work may differ from your partner’s or your colleague’s. And precisely because it varies so much, giving it serious thought can be beneficial.

Hapiness at work is…

Being happy at work often depends on the relationship between your work life and your private life. If you feel good about yourself in your private life, that positive feeling often works through at a professional level as well.

 Sometimes happiness at work comes from little things: making a connection with your colleagues, being interested in each other, lending a helping hand to a colleague with problems, or receiving support yourself when you encounter a problem. And the satisfying feeling of all those good outcomes.

In a large organisation, there is sometimes a tendency to lose sight of the individual. Employees become numbers, or are seen as puppets in a particular position. But these colleagues are more than just employees: they are all people with their own personalities, dreams, aspirations and desires. All with their own background, experiences, values and goals. The thing that connects them is the company they work for. Attention at a personal level plays a major role in happiness at work.

Boosting happiness at work

Many large organisations today have a happiness manager: someone who is actively concerned with employee happiness and meeting the needs of employees. A happiness manager is responsible for coming up with initiatives that enhance happiness at work and develops a policy for this.

But … Can hapiness at work be captured in a policy? And if so, what does that policy look like?

Happiness at work is not a policy, but a living process. It is the employees who decide exactly what happiness at work is; after all, their personal happiness is involved. What does happiness at work mean to you? A poll conducted in the department has revealed some good examples of aspects that contribute to work happiness. Which aspects do you endorse?

  • Trust
    Being given and earning trust is important. Trust is the basis for freedom, independence and good collaboration. But trust is also trying new things that don’t have to go well at the first attempt and being confident that you will be able to improve your abilities or receive help to make something a success after an initial setback. What could be more satisfying than receiving recognition for your abilities, when another person sees what you are capable of before you are aware of it yourself?
  • Flexibility
    With trust as a firm foundation, you can benefit from wide-ranging flexibility, opportunity and freedom in your work. Flexibility in planning leave and vacations, as well as being able to decide your own working times. So, as well as fulfilling your duties as an employee, you can coach a football team, get involved in after-school programmes as a parent, or do volunteer work at the community centre.
  • Appreciation
    Making a contribution that really matters gives meaning to your work. Appreciation expressed by a satisfied customer, being recognised in your abilities, being allowed to develop yourself and continue to grow.Appreciation is sometimes as simple as a compliment or a good conversation. Even the most expensive Christmas hamper can sometimes have less impact than a handwritten personal message on a Christmas card.
  • Social safety
    You spend much of your time at work; sometimes you see your co-workers more often than your own friends or family. So social safety is very important. The feeling that colleagues are ‘looking out’ for you, and that laughter is an expression of positive energy.

Happiness at work is a broad concept. It’s good to reflect every now and then on what makes you happy in your work and, more importantly, what doesn’t. Happiness at work may not pay your bills at the end of the month, but it does lower your monthly stress.