How much happiness at work do your employees sacrifice?

July 18, 2018

How much happiness at work do your employees sacrifice?Image by g-stockstudio / Shutterstock, Inc

It’s one of the biggest challenges in life: finding a job that you like. A lot of people are struggling with this, as we are slowly realizing that we spent about 33% of our lives working.

As a professional in HR, it is quite a big challenge to mediate employees’ happiness at work. And as most of us know, it is in the best interest of both the employee and employer to maximize happiness at work. It’s why companies invest such a big amount of resources in teambuilding, open communication at the office and regular fun activities. I mean, how many companies have ping pong tables these days?

However, a lot of people still see work as something that cannot be “fun” and is a necessary evil. In a hypothetical scenario where these people would not get paid anymore, they would be the first to drop their work altogether. They don’t like it anyway, so why would they continue if they weren’t getting paid for it?

In a way, these people sacrifice a part of their happiness for their salary.

Wouldn’t it be great if we could somehow fix this issue and make the job more enjoyable for these people?

The sacrifice of happiness

You might be interested in how much happiness your employees are actually sacrificing at their jobs. I mean, you will benefit indirectly from boosting happiness within your workforce. Therefore, knowing exactly how happy the workforce is can be valuable information to determine an action plan.

I want to show you an in-depth example of how happiness at work can be determined. I have been working as an engineer at a big contractor for 3.5 years now. During this time, I always knew that I liked my job relatively well. It still has its bad moments, like I think every job has.

But overall, I feel like I’ve really enjoyed it. But I wanted to go further. I wanted to know the exact influence of my job on my happiness. This kind of analysis might inspire you to think differently about happiness at your workplace. Answering questions like “how much happiness do my employees sacrifice?” could result in a lot of useful insights about your employees and colleagues. I have summarized this article here, for those of you who want a short version.

A summary of my journey tracking my happiness

I have been tracking my happiness during the entire duration of my career. What this means, is that I determine a happiness rating (on a scale from 1 to 10) for each and every single day. In addition, I keep track of the factors that significantly influence my happiness on any day. For this analysis, I have used the happiness factor “Work” to find out more about how much I’ve liked my career. This way, I have analyzed 872 work days.

Obviously, a negative day at work can have a pretty significant influence on my happiness. But I wanted to know how much happiness I sacrifice because of my work. Basically, I want to know how much happier I would be if I didn’t have to work.

Therefore, I have compared my non-working days to my work days.

How much unhappier am I on work days?

It turns out that my work actually has a slight negative effect on my happiness. I’m happier on my non-working days (7.84) compared to my work days (7.72). Although the difference is really – really – small (0.12). As a result, I feel like this small difference is heavily justified by my salary.

So in the end, I feel like I get paid more than enough for this small sacrifice in happiness. That’s why I feel pretty happy with my job, and I am a happy, functioning cog in the machine that is my employer.

But not everybody is this lucky. I know a lot of people are dreading every single day of work. For these people, the sacrifice they make in their happiness might actually not be justified by their salary.

Why not try to make your work environment a little better? Maybe then, these people will slowly start to enjoy their work a little more? Why not try these 10 methods to improve the quality of your office space?

In the end, the happiness of your workspace should be one of the priorities of HR, and this in-depth analysis could inspire you to further improve it!

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