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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


  • @activelistener: Great interview with Sir Richard Leyard from on all in the mind on radio 4 https://t.co/bdr7v2nhlW

    yesterday 8:10am

  • Modern life can be isolating. Doing random acts of kindness helps break down barriers between people https://t.co/VeUrY76rBe @KindOffensive

    yesterday 8:09am

  • Today make a list of 3 to 5 activities which you know make you and others happy. Then make plans to do them as soon as possible

    yesterday 11:49am

  • Happiness is letting go of what you think your life is supposed to look like and celebrating it for everything it is https://t.co/NTMxvdabKC

    saturday 28 may 11:25am

  • This is so great! -> World's First Museum of Happiness opens in London's First Happy Cafe https://t.co/sKCy8hmmz7 https://t.co/XiPLWTyJbO

    saturday 28 may 12:51pm

  • Find your green peace: being in nature is great for our mental health and can help to restore us after a busy week https://t.co/jEi7IvR4Pp

    saturday 28 may 12:02pm

  • Happiness is homemade https://t.co/F4g1rb28P6

    friday 27 may 11:27am

  • @LindseyGConnect: Finished leading course. Loved it, feedback gr8: "life changing", "inspiring", "a new beginning" #Hap…

    friday 27 may 9:28am

  • We have a natural tendency to focus on problems. But life is happier when we notice & appreciate the good things too https://t.co/JZqRP8lKCv

    friday 27 may 9:27am

  • We have a natural tendency to focus on problems. But life is happier when we notice & appreciate the good things too https://t.co/aRMgGhIRZb

    friday 27 may 9:26am

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