“When I was 5 years old, my mom always told me that happiness was the key to life. When I went to school, they asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up. I wrote down, “happy”. They told me I didn’t understand the assignment and I told them they didn’t understand life.” – John Lennon, Founder Beatles

Ironically, the above quote by John Lennon is a reflection of our social milieus, where being happy cannot be the ultimate goal of life. We are groomed to find, dig, search and search for happiness in all spheres of life, as it doesn’t flow within us.  Sometimes entire life goes in search of happiness when we entangle ourselves in a rigmarole of happiness & unhappiness: like this will make me happy, that will make me unhappy. We select our thoughts and actions accordingly, but still remain unhappy about it…

Life should be lived in pursuit of happiness, in whatever situation and whichever place you are in happy, sad, angry, annoyed, home, school, college, colony, office…ah! What am I saying? Can the office be a happy place? Most people would agree…in the rarest of rare cases, yes!

Office or Workplace, in modern parlance, where we spend the longest hours and years of our lives, can we afford to be unhappy there? We need to be happy inside to spread happiness outside, and what could be a better place than the office, besides our own home?

As expressed by Sadhguru, “Nowadays, I see that the “Thank God it’s Friday” culture, which essentially comes from America, is growing in India too. That means they are dead five days a week and only live on weekends. That is not a good way to live. You must live all seven days.”

So, you should be happy always, particularly at your workplace.

There is a professor at IIT Bombay who teaches Solar Energy.  He has made a rule among his students, colleagues and staff that, whenever anyone asks you, “How are you” always say, “I am happy.”  What a way to inculcate positivity from the start of the day till the end of the day. Once you start saying, you start believing!

Such small steps towards happiness ring in positivity, higher productivity, healthier employees, happier family life for employees, and a perked-up bottom line for the organization, thus creating a win-win situation for all.

On the part of organizations, they need to create a portrait of such people who always feel good, make people feel good, recover fast from adversity and are socially amicable and broadly acceptable. Such people can play an effective role in organizations, in fact, they can be called “Happiness Ambassadors.”

It would be great if organizations identify the problems of every employee and ask them what would make them happy, I am sure they will get the most hilarious answers, as most of them would not know “What would make them happy.”

No doubt some tangible benefits like appraisals, promotions, increments, paid holidays, medical insurance, and pick–up–drop facility would certainly make employees happy, but there is life beyond that. These are all momentary and monetary gains; how long would they last? There is a need to create an atmosphere where they can unwind from the clutter of their life and enjoy their work. As aptly said by Maxim Gorky, “When work is a pleasure, life is a joy! – Maxim Gorky

Happy people are more energetic, committed, and passionate about work, they are happy about contributing beyond their job mandate, thus making their roles more meaningful. Making the workplace happy should not be part of the strategy, it should be part of the inner – engineering! Happiness should be a way of life, not something that can be acquired after hard work.

Mantras for happy employees in the workplace:

  • Avoid Good & Bad labels
  • Practice extreme resilience – the ability to recover fast from adversity
  • Let go of grudges
  • Don’t waste time being jealous
  • Find passion in you, not in your job
  • Picture yourself now and 10 years from now
  • Banish the if/ then model of happiness
  • Invest in the process, not the outcome
  • Think about other people
  • Swap multitasking for mindfulness

Source: Forbes.com

There are a few ways listed below that can create workplace happiness:

  • Create a welcoming environment
  • Empower people to improve company culture
  • Provide flexibility for work-life balance
  • Demonstrate transparency
  • Communicate regularly
  • Provide growth opportunities
  • Focus on social investment

There are four key pillars of happiness at work: Purpose, Engagement, Resilience, and Kindness (PERK) with which you can PERK up your happiness quotient at work, which is any company’s best PERK.

But times have transformed when offices are paying attention to employees’ comfort and happiness like having a Chief Delight Officer, provision of Tea/ coffee round the clock, bean bags, laptops, music, paid holidays, workshops and incentives, etc. In our times, there were no such provisions, you were in auto-pilot mode, if you like your work, it pays you well or your boss is good, you were happy. Besides, being happy or unhappy at the workplace was your choice. No employer bothered about what could add to the happiness quotient of the employee. Thankfully, our children are not subject to such a scenario.

So, what makes a happy workplace?

Is it an empathic boss, upper management’s caring attitude, a relaxed and productive atmosphere, financial benefits, job security, commitment to excellence, and open and honest communication, or factors beyond these?

So, if you are thinking beyond this list, you are certainly taking steps to be happy. Inner happiness is the gateway to outward happiness, which adds to your well-being and your office’s happiness quotient.

Happiness is an attitude, we either make ourselves miserable or happy and strong. The amount of work is the same.Carlos Castaneda, Author 

  • Bienu Verma Vaghela