Something intangible and often sacrificed for other things, happiness is one of the most important factors of our working productivity. But how can we be happy?The fact is that happiness depends on several components.Think of it this way: everyone has a limit, a threshold where they don’t feel happy. All that crosses that limit are moments of true happiness and all that falls short of it are moments of unhappiness…
Editor’s Note: this article was originally published in [June, 2019] and has been updated for freshness, accuracy, and comprehensiveness.
One way to depict these limits is by using the following spectrum:
To begin with, you must think about your environment – are you in a place that makes you feel unhappy, neutral or truly happy? There are several factors involved in this – you can have a job that you aren’t fond of, but allows you to spend more time you’re your family, so your level of happiness is higher.
We all have different indicators, which we must take into account, to ascertain if we’re in an environment that fosters our happiness. The attention to these indicators is something that’s built over time and not something that we can naturally identify.
In my view, these are some of the indicators:
Probably the most important factor to me. To feel happy at work, I need freedom. Freedom of expression, autonomy, freedom from prejudice, freedom regarding your working schedule, well, there’re several types of freedom, but, to be happy, I need to feel that I can impact the environment around me without any sort of restriction and, fortunately, KWAN has that kind of freedom.
Who wants to work in a warehouse without natural lighting, encircled by a cubicle while staring at an 80s computer screen? This would be my view of a hellish environment. A nice environment isn’t only the layout of the company furniture, the color of the walls or the number of windows, but all these factors are quite important, as they all contribute to a cornerstone element of a positive environment: the good mood of those who work in that same environment.
That can be achieved in different ways, such as strengthening relationships among coworkers, establishing office playgrounds, community events, office redesigning efforts, a lot can be done to create the conditions for a good environment. However, we must never forget that the most important element is people.
A radical and somewhat recent perspective, “no bullshit” means just that, there’s no room for superfluous stuff. In a world where it is easy to get carried away by bureaucratic processes, this perspective has acquired paramount importance to me. To be productive, we must have proper control over our time, which cannot be spent with redundant stuff.
At RUPEAL, one of the rules is “Say everything you feel and don’t take anything to heart”, rules like these allow people to tackle problems of everyday life in a rational and agile way, making the environment much more productive and laidback.
“Say what you mean, mean what you say”
These 3 items are extremely relevant in my day-to-day and are some of the indicators that contribute to my working environment. Something to keep in mind: most indicators depend on things you can’t change unless you have a management role in the company, so you must find an environment that you consider to be receptive instead of forcing your adaptation to it. There’s always some level of adaptation required to be integrated into any business, but if the person doesn’t have good fit, this adaptation will be extremely difficult, perhaps impossible.
It’s extremely hard to be productive in an environment that makes us tired before even turning the computer on.
But the environment isn’t the only factor you must take into account in order to be happy at work, it’s quite the opposite, the environment is just the land where you’re going to plant the seed of happiness.
Happiness at work is something that’s built and any construction has different actions involved. Let’s assume that these actions are the water with which you’ll water the plant of daily happiness.
Some of these actions would be:
Promoting good environment
I’m not going to ask you to be that guy who stands next to the water dispenser spouting off some jokes about yesterday’s match. Promoting a good environment has plenty to do with the interaction between colleagues. Sometimes it’s not even about helping them with work itself, but rather being willing to listen and exchanging thoughts with coworkers around you, something as simple as talking to someone who’s stressed can influence the whole project. Also, if you show yourself available, others will more easily be available to you.
Investing in yourself
To stop growing is to die. To be happy, you can never stop growing, both personally and academically. When was the last time you learned something just out of natural curiosity? Why didn’t you go for those guitar lessons your friend offered you? That idea for an online service that all your friends enjoyed, why don’t you pick it up?
As human beings, we need constant challenges to evolve, evolution is what makes us more valuable. By increasing our value, we have the opportunity to generate more impact on the environment around us.
Give kudos – This is so important. Most people miss the opportunity to say “Good job” or “Thank you”, because they assume the person is just doing what they should. Showing gratitude for people’s efforts is as simple as saying “good work”, nothing more. This tiny thing has a huge impact on people’s mood.
(If you want a scientific explanation.)
Get those tasks done -It’s quite easy to get lost in a massive project. There are always a million things to do and time seems short. My advice is to break everything down into small tasks and establish different milestones, so you’ll feel like you’re making progress towards something rather than solving issues randomly.
Happiness is something that sometimes we forget in exchange for different rewards, money, to dodge conflicts or even just for the sake of peacefulness, nevertheless happiness is one of the – if not the largest – essential factor when it comes to productivity at work.
By following some of these tips, I’m sure that your happiness will increase.
If not, I recommend you to make sure you aren’t struggling with some of these symptoms!