Does the title surprise you or does it resonate with your own thoughts on how you feel about the cubicle culture and put-in-long-hours work culture? I most certainly do not endorse this view but was sure surprised to hear it from a couple of attendees at a recent conference. The speaker was quite strong on her opinion that “you do not come to work to seek pleasure, work is a task to be done and if you expect happiness and pleasure at work then you are at the wrong place!” I was not so ready to counter this statement but a few others endorsed this view.
But why is it so? Why can you not be happy at work and also be productive and contribute highly to the work you do? Why do so many people suffer long by being in the wrong job before realizing that there could be a work culture around which suits them more or perhaps never realizing at all?
I do not think at all that if a workplace is welcoming and comfortable it would foster a sluggish or taken-for-granted employee’s response. See some results from national surveys below.
“Happy employees are better equipped to handle workplace relationships, stress, and change, according to a national Gallup Management Journal survey. Companies that understand this, and help employees improve their well-being, can boost their productivity.” The article further states: “The results of the GMJ Employee Engagement Index survey show a strong relationship between worker happiness and workplace engagement. Happy and engaged employees are much more likely to have a positive relationship with their boss, are better equipped to handle new challenges and changes, feel they are more valued by their employers, handle stress more effectively, and are much more satisfied with their lives.”
As a present day example, take for instance the Google culture, the company which everyone is looking up to either for their model “best place to work” or the immense money making power and worth. What would you say about this report: “Everything about the Googleplex is designed to keep workers happy, with free services from haircuts to on-site medical care. And depending on your point of view, these legendary perks are either velvet handcuffs that promote workaholism, or examples of enlightened management for a company trying to retain people in a very competitive valley.”
And what would you say about this: “Besides free food, Google employees get a host of on-site benefits, some subsidized and some free, that keep them happy at work and able to work long hours. They can do their laundry, take showers, go to the gym, play volleyball, get massages, leave the kids with the free child care, and even visit doctors.”
Stacy Sullivan, the HR director at Google says, “In our annual happiness survey, people report that they are proud they work here. We have doctors, the child-care center, and all these things, and they are all for a reason: People can get more productive. They can stay healthier.”
If a company wants to keep the employees happy, the contentment trickles down to the employees giving back by added loyalty and increased productiveness. There is no reason why one must not be happy at work. It is a part of life and leading one part miserably affects you as a whole.
How is your happiness at work affecting your performance at work and loyalty to your company today? Please comment.