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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


  • Never get so busy making a living that you forget to make a life http://t.co/iZExn0d28Q

    yesterday 9:24am

  • @creatingfocus: Have you seen this @markwilliamson http://t.co/ClgJ7KcxuJ Think you have engineering background?

    yesterday 5:57am

  • "The frequency of Facebook use is inversely correlated with life satisfaction" ~ Paul Dolan #SMWHappiness @HappinessBD

    yesterday 4:47am

  • Mindfulness can help us deal better with stress and regain control from the gadgets that have taken over our lives http://t.co/hOotJq4lEv

    yesterday 2:31am

  • Thought for the week: big things often have small beginnings http://t.co/Rgd7hNCYxx

    yesterday 10:39am

  • Find something you're passionate about and keep tremendously interested in it http://t.co/EnpSCQtHK2

    sunday 21 sep 9:55am

  • A great way to help kids develop a positive and thankful attitude is to regularly ask them what they're greatful for http://t.co/u3BA4ko4Lk

    sunday 21 sep 4:46am

  • Sometimes people are beautiful - not in looks, not in what they say, just in what they are http://t.co/b7DG78ZHq1

    saturday 20 sep 9:44am

  • We often worry that if we slow down, life will pass us by. But life is what's happening right here and right now in whatever you're doing

    saturday 20 sep 3:13am

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