Finding Happiness at Work

15. July 2011 by Christin Stock

Looking for happiness? Don’t overlook your chances at work. No, I don’t mean flirting with the secretary or making redundant calls to the guys on the IT help-desk. Even though it is generally thought that a bit of flirting can brighten up an otherwise dull working day, raise productivity or even improve career chances, it probably won’t make you happier on the job. On the contrary, two psychologists have recently presented a new study that shows that men who flirt at work are generally unhappier than other employees.[1] Visibly, for women, flirting doesn’t seem to do much good in the happiness department – but it doesn’t hurt either ;)

Joking aside, work is a very important factor in determining how happy we rate ourselcves. Our life satisfaction depends on a variety of different variables: our relationships with family and friends, our leisure activities, health, money, status, as well a number of other factors. However, whether or not we have landed the right job is particularly important.

Are you satisfied with the tasks you perform? Can you employ your particular skills each day? Congratulations, if so, because not only have you found the right job, you have also done a great deal for your life satisfaction. To be more precise, the value of the right job for your happiness is 1.5 points on a scale of 0 to 10. The number of hours you work also has an influence – it’s responsible for about 0.5 points. The happiest people work between 35 and 44 hours per week.[2]

So it seems that a large part of our happiness is indeed to be found at the workplace. But if you are unhappy, don’t grab the temp at the Christmas party, just look for another job.


[2] Harter, J.K. & Arora, R. (2010): The Impact of Time Spent Working and Job Fit on Well-Being Around the World. In: Diener, E., Helliwell, J.F. & Kahneman, D. (Hrsg): International Difference in Well-Being, Oxford University Press

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vposted on 15. July 2011 at 6:46 am

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