Employee engagement

Should we be happy at work?

Minel Aykut
Minel Aykut 2021-02-25

Happiness is essential for the full growth and wellbeing of individuals in their daily pursuit of life. As in ordinary life, happiness in the workplace creates a sense of rationality and holistic perspective to things around and the environment. This allows time for creativity and innovations by individuals which ultimately could benefit the organizations. Also, happiness can help foster positive work environments which can help build effective teams and enhance positive work relations. With a good and positive work environment, this further leads to increased productivity as employees become more productive.

The concept of being happy was previously seen as an eventual by-product of some other undertaking, but modern trends seem to focus more on the deliberate pursuit of happiness in life and workplaces and other settings. Countries in the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) such as New Zealand are making significant efforts in their budgetary allocations to ensure the promotion of full well-being and happiness among its citizenry as observed by the World Economic Forum of 2018 in which the New Zealand Prime Minister indicated this was a core aspect of her government policy. This is indicative of the need for happiness among people, more so happiness in the workplace where most people spend considerable time throughout the day and week.

Similarly, large companies from all kinds of sectors are increasingly becoming concerned with the need to promote and encourage happiness and the pursuit of happiness at work to improve productivity and promote proper work life balance which is essential for business growth. Companies, particularly in the tech industry like Google have made significant efforts to create happiness at work by creating happy workplaces. Their efforts to create a happy workplace have well been supported by researchers from respected institutions like the Warwick University who found significant outcomes of employee happiness in the workplace, as did the University of Tennessee of similar studies. This therefore brings the question what does happiness at work entail? While this question can be answered in multiple ways and could mean different understandings to different people, it is nonetheless clear that happiness at work entails a positive state of mind for employees and a positive work environment. This is especially important given that most people generally spend a large part of their adult career life at work, hence the imperative to have happiness at work for employees is crucial.

If it is the case that people spend a lot of their time and life at work, why is happiness at work important to consider? For starters, happiness at work leads to happy employees, and happy employees are productive employees whose contribution to the development and growth of organizations is of enormous. Happiness also brings about to creating a sense of safe psychological workspaces for employees to work in a conducive work environment that promotes wellbeing, therefore the importance of happiness at work cannot be emphasized enough. As the mantra says Happy employees, Happy and productive workplaces!

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