Who is happy at work? If you would win € 10 million, would you keep going to work? Not me. I don’t think I would stop working in the sense that I would stop doing any activity, but I would no longer do the work I am doing now. I would dedicate myself to one of my passions, for example travelling. I would also volunteer, I would continue to write this blog and go to Pilates.
In short, I would more or less continue to live the life I am living now without doing the same job and without feeling obliged to earn enough to make my living. This is actually the core issue: in most of the cases we work to support ourselves and our families and not because we like it. So talking about happiness at work is an exaggeration, at least in some cases. Ask an underpaid worker who works on the assembly line if they are happy to go to work. Or to a teacher harassed by the students if their job motivates them. Or a nurse doing stressful night shifts, if they’d rather stay at home to sleep.
The concept of happiness at work seems to me a bit forced, yet a lot of people talk about it, without considering that a large number of employees do not like the work they do but have no other choice, especially in economic downturn such as the current one (at least in Europe). It seems to me a bit like a race towards a goal that cannot be achieved.
Then let’s look at the increase of the cases of burn-out. In Europe, France holds the record with their 10% of active population suffering from burn-out. Is it better in other European countries? Actually, the key question to ask would be if there is a good balance between private life and working life. People are better where Governments implement policies to balance work with life.
The problem of work is therefore the space it occupies in our lives. Attention, space not time. Space means not only the time actually spent at the workplace, but also the time spent thinking about work, the famous work that you take home and that disturbs our private life.
What to do then to change this constant thought that we have towards work?
Have a look at the techniques described in the following posts:
Try also to be grateful for what you have without thinking that this means lack of ambition. It simply means to stop chasing a chimera and to seek your well-being in what you have. Well-being, not happiness, because well-being is a state that can become permanent, while happiness is a moment, or some moments, that may fade away soon.
Pursuing well-being means beginning a journey made of small steps that could lead us to happiness but if the longed happiness is not achieved, the most important thing is being well.