Happiness at Work
We will typically spend over a third of our lives at work, so of course it has a huge impact on our wellbeing and happiness. The majority of our waking time is often spent commuting to work, at work, or thinking about work. International Week of Happiness at Work is recognised on the last full week of September and aims to raise awareness of improving employee happiness in the workplace.
Ensuring people feel happy at work has benefits for both employees and the business. Happy employees are much more likely to work harder, be more engaged and productive therefore the likelihood of your business being successful is much higher. Research constantly supports the idea that happy and healthy workplaces are more profitable.
Being happy at work is subjective and will mean different things for individuals but overall, it is enjoying a positive and meaningful experience whilst doing your job. Managers may have difficulty finding ways for all employees to be happy at work if people from different backgrounds, generations or personalities are on the same team. Wants, needs, and expectations will often differ between employees therefore leaders who can create an inclusive environment are valued.
Happiness at work stems from two things: the employee’s mindset and the organisation itself. For employees to find happiness within a business, its purpose must be a source of inspiration to them. This in turn gives them a sense of purpose within the company, with this sense of value contributing toward how happy they feel at work. Managers also contribute towards this by focusing on their employee’s growth and wellbeing, offering support and opportunities for career advancement. Cultivating an environment that is progressive and nurturing helps foster happiness at work.
An individual’s mindset has a huge impact on their happiness. If someone is part of a great work environment but has a bad attitude and negative mindset, they may still be unhappy at work. Therefore, happiness at work can depend a lot on how we react to situations and how we view our surroundings, which is something we have control over. As an element of our happiness at work is down to us as individuals, we can optimise this by adopting a more realistic and positive attitude. Our wellbeing and personal lives also impact how happy we are at work; if we are dissatisfied with other areas of our lives, or are experiencing issues, this will no doubt impact how content and engaged we are in the workplace.
How employers can contribute towards happiness at work
- Ensure employees feel appreciated and recognised for their work. The emotional response from feeling valued by supervisors means employees will take pride in their job and feel a sense of happiness at work.
- Be flexible and accommodating. Employees may have different needs and being given the flexibility and trust to get their work done can reduce stress and allow people to maximise their productivity. This freedom can help contribute towards a happier workplace and loyalty towards employers.
- Offer meaningful benefits that are appreciated. Keeping employees healthy and looked after is only a win-win situation. Insurance, healthcare, and gym memberships all encourage employees to look after themselves and stay healthy and these benefits can be hugely important for those who wouldn’t be able to afford them otherwise.
- Invest in employees’ personal and professional growth, this can look different for each employee but providing funding for education courses, conferences, or classes is a good example.
- Help to build professional relationships between colleagues. Humans are social creatures, and this is no different at work. Having social events, team building activities and incentives can help employees get to know each other and build friendships with the people they work with. It’s safe to say the people you work with can make or break your experience in your job role, having friends in the workplace is a key part of happiness at work.
- Promote a healthy work life balance. Make sure employees are not overworked and have enough downtime and time away from work. This can contribute to avoiding burnout and show you care about their wellbeing and personal lives.
Building happiness at work is always a work in progress, but most business owners and managers understand that having happy employees is better for business. Like everything, being happy at work is not about toxic positivity. It’s about having a sense of community and a people-centred approach that makes you feel good in your workplace and job role.