By Joana Lameira – Swood Team
When we ask someone what they want from life, the answer is often “I want to be happy”. However, being happy in life involves several things, namely being happy in family and love relationships, in friendships, in achieving dreams and goals, in our hobbies, in performing routine and, of course, in work activities. Whether we like it or not, we spend a large part of our time in the work environment and therefore enjoying what we do is essential for our well-being. So the question is: Can we find happiness at work?
The answer is yes! Although, as in everything in life, it is difficult to achieve full happiness. Doing what we like is halfway to being happy at work, but the truth is that people are not always happy doing what they like. Whether it’s because of some activity or task that is less enjoyable, the company they’re employed by, the position they hold, their co-workers, or even the influence their performance has on the results. In addition, the quality of personal life also influences performance and happiness at work. Basically, all these factors need to be minimally balanced for us to feel fulfilled and happy.
What is happiness in the workplace anyway? A simple answer: to be excited about getting things done and not just looking forward to Friday. Of course, wanting to rest and have free time is natural. What is not normal is the lack of interest in professional life, seeing work as a burden and counting the hours to leave. When this happens it’s because something is not right and maybe it’s time to do some introspection and see what we really want for ourselves. Do we not like what we do after all? Could it be that our work, which was initially interesting and challenging, is no longer so? Is the organisational environment not favourable?
Although the feeling of happiness is something very personal and each person can be happy with different things, companies should also foster satisfaction and happiness in their employees. One way to do this is through leadership. Yes, having good leaders who know their employees, who know how to motivate their teams, who take responsibility for bad results instead of putting that pressure on others. In general, happiness is most associated with organisational environments that:
- Have motivated and happy teams who know when to work and when to rest and relax;
- Offer good financial remuneration, whether in salaries, the possibility of bonuses for performance or the benefits they give their employees;
- Have good leaders, who know how to motivate, recognise effort and value good ideas;
- Provide good working conditions, adequate facilities and equipment or even good work planning that avoids overtime.
As already mentioned, happiness at work is not something easy to achieve. Still, there are some strategies that companies can implement in order to have more satisfied employees. And what are these strategies?
Allow employees to decide whether they want to work from home, either part-time or full-time, or even directly hire people in this regime. On one hand, the employee no longer has costs associated with travel and gains that time in his day; and on the other hand, companies can save on resources such as physical space and inherent expenses. With due care from both parties, remote working is a great solution and can generate more satisfied employees and even increase efficiency.
Rewarding good results can also positively impact employee happiness. Whether it’s giving extra days off or even cash values for goals achieved. When effort and work are properly valued and rewarded, motivation increases, as well as satisfaction and commitment to the company.
Another strategy is to offer flexible benefits, i.e. give employees an extra amount of money that they can spend wherever and however they want. Instead of offering traditional benefits, such as medical plans or health insurance; give employees the freedom and flexibility to spend that value on whatever they want.
Swood can help your company implement the latter strategy and thus elevate happiness at work!
Having said that, being happy at work is possible, but it’s much more than just working on what we like. Happiness depends on several factors, as human beings are extremely complex, with ups and downs, with peaks of happiness and also moments of sadness, with good days and bad days. In short, everything is part of life, isn’t it? However, specifically at work, companies can and should boost the happiness of their employees using some of the strategies mentioned above or adopting others that are equally valued. After all, happy employees make happy companies.