What does happiness at work look like?

The foundation of happiness at work is quite simple. It’s that feeling of contentment when you wake up; the ability to relax in your environment or to feel comfortable being yourself around those you work with.

Although happiness is subjective, we think the foundation of happiness at work is quite simple. It’s that feeling of contentment when you wake up; not feeling anxious or under extreme pressure. It’s the ability to relax in your environment; to feel comfortable being yourself around those you work with, to talk openly and express your opinions and ideas without fear of judgment. It’s knowing that your work environment is a safe and inclusive setting, where you can learn, develop and thrive.

Why should happiness at work be the rule and not the exception?

We spend the majority of our time at work. So why would you want to spend that time somewhere you’re unhappy? For those in leadership roles, why would you want to subject your employees to an environment that makes them miserable? 

Mental health and wellbeing are so important. If people are unhappy, they’re not going to feel motivated or productive, they’re not going to be able to bring their best selves to the workplace.

It is in everybody's best interest to make happiness a priority. Plus, who doesn’t love seeing people happy? It’s awesome to see people happy and flourishing together! 

Happiness is subjective, but what are good indicators of happiness in a workplace?

In our experience, the following factors are strong indicators of a happy workforce:

  • Transparency
  • Trust & Respect
  • Diversity
  • Flexibility

Transparency: An open and transparent environment is going to be a happier one. If people feel comfortable enough, to be honest, and forthcoming with management and their colleagues, then that’s a good sign of a happy, supported workplace.

Trust & Respect: Trust and respect play a huge part in reinforcing a happy workplace. People need to be able to trust and rely on each other, but even more importantly, people want to be trusted and respected by their employers. It’s a two-way street and in almost every case, that trust and respect will be reciprocated.

Diversity: A diverse team is a fantastic indication of a happy place to work. It not only signals that the company prioritises the need for diversity, but if the business is actually attracting and retaining diverse team members, you can almost be certain that it’s a great place to work. Businesses with a diverse workforce also tend to outperform those who don’t, so a win-win all round!

Flexibility: Okay, so obviously we’re biased towards flexibility but the proof is in the pudding and we have the stats to back it up. A flexible workplace is a happier one. This point also connects to all of the factors above. Flexibility demonstrates a level of trust, respect and transparency. On top of that, flexible workplaces attract a more diverse workforce. Flexible benefits open up opportunities to so many more fantastic people. 

What does Flexa encourage companies to do to improve happiness at work?

When companies come to us to be Flexified, they have to go through a benchmarking process. This process includes a short quiz that is sent out to a number of their employees so that we can gather honest feedback from people who actually work there on a daily basis. 

Once we receive that feedback, we share it (anonymously) with the employer and discuss the areas in which people feel they could improve. We encourage them to take this feedback on board and if feasible, make necessary changes to improve the lives of their staff. We also provide a number of company resources, such as our policy templates, to support companies who are looking to improve their work environment.

Ultimately, it’s about listening to your employees and what it is they’re asking for.

What tips can Flexa give employees everywhere to take care of their wellbeing and happiness at work?

Don't be afraid to speak up and don’t be afraid to say no. 

Whilst we spend a lot of time at work, it’s not the entirety of our lives and in life, we are allowed to speak up and we are allowed to say no. Maybe someone is doing something or behaving in a way that makes you uncomfortable, maybe you’re being asked to do too much, maybe you’re feeling unwell and need to take a day off; whatever it is, don’t be afraid to speak up and communicate your needs or concerns. If you don’t feel comfortable doing that with your manager or HR, it might be time to look at why that is and reassess your situation. 

Take a break!

Whether you’re working in the office, at home, or on a beach. You are entitled to a break. You need to be taking regular breaks every day and making time for yourself to refresh and recharge. Feeling unwell? Take a day off. Feeling burnt out? Take a holiday. Your Paid Time Off is there to use, don’t be afraid to use it, it’s yours and you earned it! 

Set yourself clear boundaries.

Particularly when working from home, it can be difficult to separate work from the rest of your life. It’s important, wherever you are, to set clear boundaries and if suitable for you, create a routine for yourself. Manage your notifications and whenever possible, switch them off after a certain time and on the weekend. If you’re on holiday, make sure you switch those pesky notifications off and completely zone out from work. 

Communicate your needs. 

It’s important to communicate with your employer and be upfront about your needs. No matter how big or small, if you have an issue, or you need accommodations or support, make sure you talk to someone and tell them exactly what you require to improve your work environment.

And lastly…

Put yourself first.

When push comes to shove, your health and wellbeing are what is most important. If your employer, colleagues, work environment or all of the aforementioned are pushing you to misery or exhaustion, if you’ve communicated your needs, advocated for change and still nothing has improved, it might be time to reevaluate your situation and consider a new opportunity.

Click here to find out more on how Flexa is setting the standard for flexible work and helping people find truly flexible jobs.

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