Happiness is a Dynamic Tool to Increase Productivity in The Workplace

Self-ImprovementHappiness

  • Author Bivash Panday
  • Published October 1, 2021
  • Word count 1,185

Pursuing happiness in the workplace teaches employees how to turn any stressful situation into an inspiring learning experience to become productive. Researchers have discussed for decades how happiness can be defined, as it has been very problematic to express. Numerous researchers have found it difficult to agree on the sense of happiness. Though the sense of happiness is comparative and differs from person to person, it is a vital ingredient of well-being in the workplace. Based on several academic and business researches, on one hand, Spicer and Cederstrom (2015) and Mauss et al. (2011) pointed out the limitations of pursuing happiness in the workplace; on the other hand, Achor (2011) and Seppala and Cameron (2015) argued that it has enormous effect to increases productivity. A large and growing body of research on positive organizational psychology has demonstrated that happiness at work improves the performance of employees and organizations as a whole, increasing innovation, productivity, engagement, and the quality of overall well-being. I believe that Happiness Campaigns would be the first pillar of well-being in the workplace, as happy employees are more motivated and more loyal, and that increases workplace productivity. In the succeeding paper, analysing several academic and business researches done by numerous experts in the respective field, it will be revealed that how happiness campaigns are worth in the workplace.

Cultivating happiness at the workplace creates strength and balance, as well as heightened wisdom of well-being. As Achor (2011) in his TED Talk on The Happy Secret to Better Work, supported happiness in the workplace. He claimed that upholding an optimistic perspective on precise actions in life can significantly progress talent because the positive brain has greater focus and attention, stronger and faster intelligence, better energy level, and enhanced creativity. Achor also argued that happiness could create a positive effect on personal performance. He contended that when the brain is in a positive state of awareness, people would have performed 31% better due to releasing the happy chemical named dopamine (Achor, 2011). In support of the positive effect on valuing happiness and research in the workplace, Seppala and Cameron (2015) in their business article stated that “Well-being comes from one place, and one place only-a positive culture and importantly, business with highly engaged employees enjoyed 100% more job application”. In fact, Happiness makes people more aware of an optimistic mindset and that a positive environment could lead to dramatic benefits for employees, employers, and overall well-being at the workplace.

Remaining open to optimism can give the flexibility necessary to be more productive at the workplace. In regards to the effect of pursuing happiness, Achor (2011) stated that it would stimulate employees to be more productive. Indeed, happiness is the capacity to perceive the immense illustration with acceptance, which provides a stronger foundation at work and helps to remain upright in the face of pressure, uncertainty, and struggle. As Seppala and Cameron (2015) discovered that “Happiness buffers against negative experiences such as stress, thus improving employee’s ability to bounce back from challenges and difficulties while bolstering their health” (par. 16). They claimed that a positive workplace is more successful over time because it increases positive emotions and well-being. The authors also pointed out that “a positive work climate also leads to a positive workplace culture which, again, boosts commitment, engagement, and performance” (Seppala & Cameron, 2015, par. 14). It appears that life satisfaction, meaning, and well-being can be linked with happiness but happiness cannot come from all the physical things we see around us. Therefore, it is important to continue to explore happiness because it also has some consequences in the workplace.

Some scholars pointed to limitations of happiness in the workplace declaring that encouraging happiness at the workplace is not a worthy idea as it does not always lead to increased productivity in certain skills. For example, concerning the effect of pursuing happiness in the workplace, Spicer and Cederstrom (2015) argued that forcing happiness in the workplace is ineffective. Unlike Achor (2011), they argued that the impact of pursuing happiness in the workplace could be detrimental to productivity because forcing happiness can misfire and cause discontent and a lack of achievement. Furthermore, they disagreed that happiness improved professional performance in employees. The authors argued that the relationship between happiness and performance in the workplace is inconsistent because happy workers can be less productive and have been shown to perform worse on certain skills. They also pointed out that happiness could distract employees from more demanding issues such as conflicts and workplace politics (Spicer & Cederstrom, 2015). Moreover, much research has been conducted on happiness in the workplace with differing opinions. Several researchers argued that in some situations placing a higher value on happiness can harm accomplishing it. Based on the result of studies, a number of researchers acclaimed that the conventional perception of aggressively pursuing happiness might be counterproductive.

A fascinating study tested the illusory nature of valuing happiness in the workplace by Mauss et al. (2011), which proposed that valuing happiness could backfire and reduce people's enjoyment. The authors claimed that holding happiness in high regard results in a paradoxical effect and cause less happiness. Based on that academic research, they determined that depending on emotional controlling capacities, valuing happiness could lead to larger pleasure or make people more vulnerable because of paradoxical consequences (Mauss et al., 2011). In response to these limitations, I would like to claim that definitely happiness has the power to reverse the negative physical and emotional effects of stress. It is also, why businesses have begun training meditation/mindfulness techniques to aspiring happiness, and why mindfulness training has come to be recognized as vital organization skills by a growing number of Mainstream businesses. Despite these limitations, a workplace is also a place where employees can learn, grow, and come to be much happier by practicing meditation/mindfulness that is scientifically proven to reduce the stress hormone cortisol and release organic chemical dopamine to become peaceful (Achor, 2011). Admittedly, Seppala and Cameron (2015) stated “When organizations develop positive, virtuous cultures they achieve significantly higher levels of organizational effectiveness-including financial performance, customer satisfaction, productivity, and employee’s engagement” (par. 16).

In conclusion, based on researches and practical evidences, happiness campaign at the workplace can be the most valuable tool to increases employee productivity and well-being. Modern science has proven that people can train to become happy but unfortunately, people do not take this revolutionary idea seriously. Even in a workplace where being fired is a realistic and existing threat, happiness has the power to improve work-life immensely through awareness, compassion, patience, and inspiration. As Shidhartha Goutama Buddha said, “There is no way to happiness, happiness is the way”.

References

Achor, S. (2011, May). The happy secret to better work [Video]. TEDxBloomington. https://www.ted.com/talks/shawn_achor_the_happy_secret_to_better_work?language=en

Mauss, I. B., Tamir, M., Anderson, C. L., & Savino, N. S. (2011). Can seeking happiness make people unhappy? Paradoxical effects of valuing happiness. Emotion, 11(4), 807–815. https://doi.org/10.1037/a0022010

Seppala, E., & Cameron, K. (2015, December 01). Proof that positive work cultures are more productive. Harvard Business Review. https://hbr.org/2015/12/proof-that-positive-work-cultures-are-more-productive

Spicer, A., & Cederstrom, C. (2015, July 21). The research we’ve ignored about happiness at work. Harvard Business Review. https://hbr.org/2015/07/the-research-weve-ignored-about-happiness-at-work

Bivash Panday is the founder President of the “Universal Humanity Foundation (UHF), Canada. He is the innovator of “Pain2Peace Method”– a scientific Inner-peace program incorporated with Meditation, Mindfulness and an Indian ancient Breathing Techniques (Pranayama*) to improved overall well-being including sustainable mental-peace and moral/social competence.

Currently, Bivash is a post-graduate student of MA in Human Security and Peacebuilding at Royal Roads University, BC, Canada.

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