The Four Keys to Happiness at Work [Complete Guide]

For a lot of people, it’s almost impossible to believe that there are keys to happiness at work. For them, work doesn’t equate to happiness. If anything, work has been more linked to stress than it is to joyfulness. 

What’s prevalent are people who are unhappy and stressed out with their jobs. Job stress has become so detrimental to the health of a lot of people that the most number of heart attacks happen on Mondays. 

According to studies, the risk of heart attacks rise on Mondays because Monday, according to data, is the most stressful day of the week in relation to heart attack risks. Can you guess the reason for why Monday has become this way? The reason for this is work, work-related stress. 

According to the American Institute of Stress, “Numerous studies show that job stress is far and away the major source of stress for American adults and that it has escalated progressively over the past few decades.”

Here are the main causes of stress according to a study conducted by the American Institute of Stress:

  1. 46% Workload
  2. 28% People Issues
  3. 20% Juggling Work/Personal Lives
  4. 6% Lack of Job Security

Stress and resilience to stress vary from person to person. While others seem like the epitome of “grace under pressure”, others don’t do so well when under stressful situations. 

Regardless, with much effort, you can transform work and turn in into a source of happiness instead of a source of stress. We’ll share with you the four keys to happiness at work. Here they are:

Purpose

Whether it be work or life in general, finding purpose helps us connect with ourselves and to others. It gives us a sense of fulfilment and happiness. In Morten Hansen’s book, “Great at Work”, he said,

“You have a sense of purpose when you make valuable contributions to others (individuals and organizations) or to society that you find personally meaningful and that don’t harm anyone.”

Tony Robbins also mentioned in his book, “Unlimited Power”, how contribution is one of the six core human needs. According to Tony Robbins, humans have  “Needs of the Personality” and “Needs of the Spirit”. 

Here are the six core human needs according to his book, Unlimited Power:

Needs of the Personality:

  1. Certainty
  2. Uncertainty or Variety
  3. Significance
  4. Love and Connection

Needs of the Spirit

  1. Significance
  2. Contribution

According to Tony, contribution is the need to go beyond ourselves. It is to give, to care, to protect and to serve others. Finding your purpose through your job can help you appreciate it more, love it better and find happiness from it. 

Our purpose is aligned to our core values. You can pour out your passion and purpose at work if you can realize that it is aligned to your core values. For example, if you have a leadership role and you believe in motivating and inspiring others, you can connect what you believe in to what you do. 

This way, you can become more passionate with your job and in turn, your work can bring you happiness. Purpose is one of the four keys to happiness at work. Realize today how you can connect your values to your work.

Engagement

Being engaged at work means being involved in making decisions, losing track of time because of getting immersed with what you do and you feeling competent with your work. Most people don’t feel this way.

According to Gallup, workplace productivity is low across the globe. This means that a lot of employees are not engaged with their work. Another study by Gallup supports this by showing that 67% of employees are disengaged.

According to Greater Good, there are three ways on how you can improve your engagement at work. They are:

  1. Inject some fun, playfulness and creativity at work. 
  2. Have more ownership over your tasks. 
  3. Achieve the “state of flow” in your work.

Resilience

A great way to build resilience is to self-educate yourself about emotional intelligence. According to the The Economic Times, “emotional intelligence refers to the capability of a person to manage and control his or her emotions and possess the ability to control the emotions of others as well.”

It’s an essential leadership skill but also helps you with having the power to become more resilient and find happiness from within you and not outside of you. It’s having the understanding and awareness of your emotions and using that knowledge to create positive results even out of negative situations.

Develop emotional intelligence and you’ll find that you’ll develop more than resilience but also the power to become whoever and whatever you want to be in life. 

Other than developing emotional intelligence, you can boost your resilience by knowing how to reduce work stress. One of the ways you can go about reducing work stress is by avoiding or knowing how to resolve employee conflict

Kindness

The last of the four keys to happiness at work is being kind. No one can ever be happy with being rude or uncivil to others. It’s through kindness wherein you can tap into genuine happiness.

You can start being kind by being civil at work. According to Christine Porath in her book, “Mastering Civility”, “being civil means building trust; sharing resources, feedback, credit and being a good listener.”

Another way is by becoming more empathetic. When you understand others and know why they react, talk and act the way they do, you have more control over the situation. When you are more understanding of others, there’s less risk of conflict and resentments. 

The impact of happiness at work is attainable. According to Gettysburg, a third of our lives will be spent at work. Wouldn’t it be tragic if that one third is just about the impact of chronic stress in the workplace

If you’re an employer wanting to improve employee happiness and engagement, we’ve written an article about the 3 steps companies are taking to achieve happiness at work

Whether you’re an employer or an employee, strive hard to find and create happiness at work. Use the four keys to happiness we’ve shared with you and share it to others as well. 

That way, the workplace can be harmonious and everyone can attain the happiness that they all deserve. Start bringing in happiness to your life through the work that you do today.