Happiness at Work

Do we truly understand what makes us happy? Most psychological and anthropological studies out there focus on what makes us tick and squirm, but not many have investigated what makes us feel fulfilled.

For the common Canadian, this may include family, hobbies, social circle and of course: work. Let’s play with some numbers: Let’s say the average Canadian works 40 hours a week, there are 52 weeks in a year, this makes 2080 hours working total in one year! Considering there are 8760 hours in a year total and approx. 3000 of those are spent sleeping (calculated with average of 8 hours sleep), that is a huge bulk of one’s life spent at work. For this reason, one could assume that, for someone to have a happy balance in life they must also have a happy balance at work.

Being happy at work varies from person to person. Some value more their work environment, while others may feel happier with higher salaries. There is also daily travel to the office, feeling acknowledged and stimulated etc. So the question remains; how can one bring happiness to their workplace? How can a boss contribute to the happiness of their employees?

A documentary featured on Netflix entitled “Happy” (directed written, and co-produced by Academy Award nominated filmmaker Roko Belic) explores human happiness through interviews with people from all walks of life in 14 different countries, while exploring the newest findings of positive psychology. After discovering the 14 different perspectives, the documentary concluded that the most common factor that lead to overall happiness came from the sentiment of feeling needed.

“The greatest lesson I learned while making this film is that my pursuit of happiness is not about me. It’s about our relationships and how we help each other. It’s about us.” -Roko Belic.

If this is true, it means that we can help make work a happier place is by giving to others. This could mean helping a colleague with a project if they are feeling overwhelmed or sending a nice email to brighten up someone’s day.

If you are in a position of authority and value a healthy workplace dynamic, then highlighting accomplishments is key. You can do this with activities or events to show appreciation so employees feel valued. Congratulating them on their success will give them a sense of purpose and a feeling of belonging.

These tools will surely bring us one step closer to balance and workplace happiness.

“It really has to do with taking care of other people, and doing things for others rather than yourself.”

— George Lucas

Article by Natasha Couvrette- Recruiting Director at Proforce Personnel

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