Why Happiness Matters in the Workplace.
The average American will spend approximately 80,000 working hours during their lifetime. People often associate their job or workplace as a place of stress, unhappiness, incompetence, and being invisible in their company. While not the case for everyone, some people perceive work as a reality they must face every day.
Is there a solution? You may believe that happiness in the workplace is a myth. Or, you may believe that everyone should get through the day doing the best that they can. This mindset is not uncommon. But imagine what happens when you catch-up with an old friend. You smile, you laugh, your muscles relax, your body, mind and spirit are being fed all at once. This is a beautiful feeling. What if those same feelings, of being happy and energized, could happen at work?
Our brains are social organs meaning that relationships, in every area of our lives, are absolutely essential to happiness. Words such as “happy” and “respect” and “relationship” can seem fluffy when it comes to the workplace, when in fact people that are happier in their jobs are 12% more productive.
So how wide is the gap between a healthy workplace (somewhere people want to be) and an unhealthy one (a place people dread going)? Are we able to close the gap and create a positive, healthy work environment? Fortunately, the answer is yes! And it begins with these three things:
Scientists at Harvard began a study in 1938 as an attempt to understand human happiness. For nearly 80 years they followed the lives of over 200 men to record where they found happiness. At the end of the study the researchers found that the men with satisfying relationships lived longer and had healthier lives, and the men that were lonely and isolated often died earlier and less healthy. Good relationships in the workplace matter. This begins with understanding the people working around you. Who are they? Why do they matter here? What are their skills? Why do they get agitated in strategy meetings? Why are they energized by accounting?
When experiencing stress, our middle and high mental functions begin to deteriorate. Some of these functions are essential to good work – communication, empathy, awareness of others, and emotional balance are a few. We lose our ability to relate or build when we are under stress. Using stress as a driving force during the majority of our work hours can be extremely inhibiting and dangerous to the culture of a workplace.
According to a Gallup report in 2013, only 30% of Americans felt engaged with their work. Which means that 70% of working Americans feel a sense of purposelessness at their jobs. Other reports show that the vast majority of working people want to feel a sense of “doing something bigger” with their work. Purpose ultimately leads to engagement, and engagement leads to happiness in the workplace.
At Affiance Coaching, we believe that awareness is key. How can we begin to create healthy workplaces if we don’t know everyone’s needs? Kolbe Wisdom™is designed to teach individuals about their own instincts; and the instincts of their colleagues. This information gives people a better understanding of those on their team, and it makes promotes a mutually respectful work culture.
We exist to make your workplace better – call us today to learn more!
The Affiance Coaching Team