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The business case for happiness at work

28 Jul 2010 | Psychology Today

Last week I met someone I'd coached a few years ago for a catch-up dinner. Her face was glowing and she was radiating enthusiasm and energy. Her organization had been through a very tough time with job losses, new management, high levels of uncertainty. And she had been given lots of new challenges to deal with, responsibilities and in areas she'd had little knowledge of. She was loving it all and told me that she was incredibly happy at work.

But what is the general effect that supposedly post-recessionary times are having on happiness and productivity?

At iOpener the research and consulting company I run, we've been collecting data about happiness at work and productivity since before the recession started. So we can compare some before, during and after recession numbers, all of which are really interesting.

One of the main ways we measure the effect of happiness at work is by looking at time people spend on task - or doing what they're there to do. Before the recession, people who were really happy at work reported that they spent 78% of their day on task. The rest was taken up by sorting diaries, doing mundane stuff like waiting on calls, for frozen screens - the kind of thing that gets in the way of real work. In contrast people who were most unhappy at work said that they spent only 53% of their time on task. That's a 25% difference between both groups.

Read article here


Action for Happiness


  • Mindfulness is about tuning in, not switching off. It helps us step back from daily stress to see who we really are and what we really want

    today 6:14am

  • Take a small step every day https://t.co/mqUlJBWp3Y

    today 3:18am

  • Stop the glorification of busy. It's ok to be happy with a calm life https://t.co/9EkYPKjfZO

    yesterday 10:05am

  • "Our life is what our thoughts make it" ~ Marcus Aurelius

    yesterday 11:30am

  • Spend time with others, even when you feel low. Especially when you feel low, actually https://t.co/BwPo7z0gWc via @moodnudges

    yesterday 10:12am

  • @changespace: Pleased to interview mindfulness expert @EdHalliwell for @Psychologies book club. https://t.co/MdX6dCWABh

    sunday 21 aug 11:13am

  • @mwebster1984: Interesting talk on self compassion from https://t.co/bNBxg9Nl0X

    sunday 21 aug 11:13am

  • Learning to be happy with what you have is far smarter than a watch you can check your emails on

    sunday 21 aug 11:13am

  • Learning to be happy with what you have is far smarter than a watch you can check your emails on https://t.co/MdqLffs3Yp

    sunday 21 aug 11:13am

  • Ways to build resilience: nurture relationships, find meaning in difficulties, be optimistic, expect & accept change https://t.co/KYPDEqHmTX

    sunday 21 aug 2:53am

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