In the premiere episode of our Future Work Podcast, I interviewed Steelcase VP of Insights, best-selling author, and Forbes writer Tracy Brower about Happiness at Work.
Tracy, who wrote the (highly recommended) book The Secrets to Happiness at Work, shared several key insights that everyone can benefit from:
- Happiness is an overall sense of joy and contentment, that ebbs and flows – we're not all bonbons and butterflies daily.
- It's composed of four key elements: Dedication (feeling committed), Immersion (work when time flies), Energy (how can I get energized from my work and how am I motivated to put energy into my work), and Mattering (the work I do matters and has meaning.)
- Work and life are becoming more and more entangled, and we should feel free to ensure that we feel like work is meaningful and dedicate ourselves to it, while at the same time not feeling guilty about picking up a personal phone call during work hours.
- We are living in a "hybrid paradox." While many aspects of our lives have improved (for example, no commute), work has become worse for many people. To improve happiness at work, it is necessary to be intentional about collaboration and remind ourselves of our values, even in a virtual environment. Intentionality is key to shifting the dynamic.
- Leaders and managers are dealing with a lot more these days, with employees looking to them for information and support. It's a lot of emotional labor! But if leaders remind employees of their purpose, make themselves available, connect them through task-related events, and reinforce relationships, it can help boost everyone's well-being.
- Measuring happiness directly in organizations can actually reduce happiness levels. It's better to focus on measuring sources of happiness, such as connection to the organization's purpose, strong relationships with colleagues, performance, and growth opportunities.
- Happiness and well-being are closely linked. Investing in physical well-being, work-life balance, and supportive leaders can be effective leverage points for improving well-being in the workplace. Alyssa Than-Stark (MBPsS)!)
- When people are engaged and satisfied with their roles, it leads to greater productivity and performance. Tracy encourages organizations to value the bigger picture of performance and look beyond productivity.
- Tracy's big message: Love your work, and learn your work. We are empowered to appreciate and love our work, even if our work isn't perfect.
I hope you'll enjoy this episode and pick up valuable ways to improve your and your team's happiness at work. With so many hours spent working, this is so incredibly important. You can find it on YouTube, Spotify, Apple Podcasts, and more.