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Monday, August 25, 2008

Pursuit of Happiness in the Workplace

All of you who feel that your workplace is not the place to go to, to look for happiness raise your hand. If you did raise your hand, chances are a couple of others did too. Isn't it sad that the place where you spend most of your time awake is full of negative emotions like stress, frustration, unhealthy competition and sometimes, anger. Wouldn't it be better for you and for the rest of the gang to maintain a happy workplace where people would look forward to going and actually enjoy being engaged in whatever the company is pursuing?

We've all heard the cliche, a happy worker is a productive worker. A lot of people believe this, a lot of behavioral scientists are fascinated by it and an entire industry of positive psychologists is built for the pursuit of happiness in the workplace. There were anecdotal claims that it is true that happy workers are indeed more productive compared to unhappy workers.

Here's the thing. While some companies are waking up and realizing the need to pursue this, they are a great deal minority compared to those who hardly care about this issue. The lack of interest in making the workplace a happy one is overwhelming. I even came across organizations who discourage laughter in the workplace, can you believe that?

I'm not writing to tell you how to find happiness in the workplace. I just don't have the authority to tell you that (Not that it ever stopped me in the It's because I don't have the answer... right now.

I propose that we begin the pursuit of it if you haven't started yet. If you did and found some ways to improve the level of happiness at work, please do share with the rest of our readers.

And why not search for sources of happiness in the workplace? Not only are happy workers productive, unhappy workers are most likely not. Negative emotions cause more damage than an organization is probably capable of quantifying.

There are a couple of books that I found interesting. Marcus Buckingham's "First Break All the Rules" and the follow-up books are a good place to start. I also found the series on Fish Philosophy quite intriguing. And of course don't forget, Maslow and Herzberg built models that gave us clues about where to start.

Here's a video of Dr. Martin Seligman talking about positive psychology that is worth watching. If it's taking time loading, just follow this link:

1 comment:

  1. theleftovers11:44 PM

    I've just started out in the workforce, and sadly, my first encounter of the workplace was at a place that has probably never heard of positive psychology.

    I'm (positively) hoping that other jobs are more knowledgeable on the topic.


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