A Break?…or an Escape?
This summer, are you looking forward to a break…or an escape? May heralds a plethora of public holidays and summer vacations. Whether you see these as a nice break or a welcome escape speaks volumes about your happiness at work. If you’re not concerned about happiness at work, then you should be. There are huge downsides when you don’t have it and upsides when you do. If you’ve ever hated your job i’d put money that you knew what the negative effects were in terms of your effort, energy and enthusiasm.
But what are the upsides of being happy?
If you’re happy at work you:
But how do you define being happy at work?
Happiness at work is a mindset which enables action to maximize performance and achieve potential.
There are three important points to this definition of happiness at work.
Firstly, you need to be aware of your approach to work. And that awareness needs to extend to more than just the lows, which are obvious, but to the highs as well.
Secondly, broadly speaking the ‘Western’ approach holds that life and work is all about the individual not the group, while the ‘Eastern’ approach is exactly the opposite.
It may be better to focus not only on the individual but on their role within a group as well, because that’s where most work takes place.
Thirdly, it’s important to recognize the ‘yin and yang’ effect. Growth of any sort involves accepting that discomfort and difficulty are part of the process. Happiness at work doesn’t mean that you have to feel good 100% of the time. Or that you shouldn’t feel the usual negative emotions you do at work. Like anger, frustration, disappointment, failure, jealousy or shock. Those are the emotions that will propel you to take different actions to get back on your happiness track. They’re not to be avoided but actively explored on your career journey. Just as the times when you feel so stretched that you aren’t sure how you’ll cope. Afterwards you look back with an immense sense of accomplishment and achievement, despite the trials you went through.
Recently the iOpener Institute teamed up with the Wall Street Journal to conduct a ‘happiness at work’ study. Germans came out on top for feelings of commitment, culture and pride in their organizations. They rated the fairness of workplace cultures particularly highly. And they scored highly in terms of liking their jobs and colleagues. Perhaps surprisingly to some, the British also scored as one of the happiest nationalities at work. They scored at or above average on all measures of commitment, culture and pride. Except they scored slightly below average for feelings of “doing something worthwhile.”
So how happy are you at work? To Take the test visit http://www.iopenerinstitute.com/get-your-free-report.aspx
Article written by Jessica Pryce-Jones
Jessica Pryce-Jones, CEO of the iOpener Institute for People and Performance, providing practical solutions for common and complex workforce issues. Jess thinks that lots of people, teams and organizations would achieve more and manage better if they understood the connection between productivity and happiness at work. Recognizing this would mean that they’d truly achieve their potential while enabling their own – and their organization’s – success.
Jess is the author of Happiness at Work: Maximizing Your Psychological Capital For Success (published by Wiley Blackwell in 2010). Jessica founded iOpener to help people to recognise and extend their capabilities. She believes that everyone has the ability to do more: the secret lies in inner momentum and formulating practical solutions. She is a frequent speaker and media commentator, having taken part as an expert in the BBC series ‘Making Slough Happy’, featured in a CNN special and written many articles about iOpener’s work.
Jess lectures and teaches senior executives at London Business School, Chicago Booth, Oxford (Saïd) and Judge Business Schools. She also coaches senior executives and leadership teams. Her career started at Rothschild’s Bank in Paris and she then spent seven years in the insurance market before starting working as a consultant. Jessica has degrees in Classics and Psychology. She works all over the world but is based in Oxford, UK with her family.
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