How can you be happy at work?
This is an age-old question that may be very difficult to answer. We are all chasing an elusive 'happiness' but what does this really mean? Is it about being able to purchase everything you desire, or is it more about finding inner peace? And how can we find happiness at work?
This is something that has a huge impact on your daily life. Every time you go to purchase something, whether it be food, clothing, a present for someone else or entertainment, it is with money that you have worked hard for. You need to weigh up if it is worth your time and effort (the time you have spent at work) to then spend your money. Increasingly, it seems that a higher percentage of a person's income is being spent on basic necessities (food, clothing, electricity and water bills) which means that there is less 'spare' cash left over for all those extras in life.
Maslow's hierarchy of needs can be used to show how we need to meet our basic needs first (bottom of the pyramid) and then move our way up to the top of the pyramid, which is when we achieve self-actualisation. Here is a great version I have found. If you would like to read more about the man who developed this theory, take a look at Abraham Maslow.
Employment is specifically mentioned in the 'Safety' section of the pyramid. If you enjoy your work and are remunerated appropriately (money or otherwise), then it is more likely that you will be able to focus on other aspects of the pyramid which will in turn lead to you becoming a happier person as you move towards self-actualisation.
The happier someone is at work, the more productive they will be.
This is something that all employers should be thinking about everyday. How can I keep my employees happy and fulfil their needs, so that they can fulfil mine at work? Basic conditions must be met, and then employers needs to strive to go beyond that, to make their employees want to come to work. This may be in the form of allowing staff to get to know each other and their families through social events, to internal team-building events, or even providing a comfortable space for employees to have their break.
There are so many ways employers can address this issue, it is just a matter a wanting to. Staff retention and productivity are two measurable factors to take into account. Do you think your employer could be doing something at work that will contribute to your happiness and productivity at work? Have a chat with them and see if you can make a change at work - it may just benefit everyone!