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Practicing Lykke at work

17 Sep 2018
by Violeta Uzunova

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Many of us might think that a person is either happy with their job or not, but a few would agree that happiness is a process. Inspired by the “Little book of Lykke” by Mike Wiking, CEO of the Happiness Research Institute in Copenhagen, our team at Accedia decided to investigate what makes a happy workplace and share some ideas for practicing lykke in your day job.

In his book, Wiking defines six main pillars of contentment - togetherness, health, money, trust, kindness, freedom, and gives a spectrum of tips from around the world. Looking into their application at work, while reflecting on our company culture, we compiled a list to guide you on your way to a fulfilling career.  

6 signs you work in a positive environment

Is the company you work for investing in creating a positive work environment where happiness triumphs? See if your employer:

Provides healthy environment. Whether it is organizing sports events, providing modern office facilities, healthy food options, discounts for sport or weekly massages at the office, а company that looks after its employees’ wellbeing most definitely puts in their happiness.

Encourages ownership. Empowering team members to take ownership of their skills development puts them in the leading role and gives them freedom of expression. So, if your company encourages you to do a presentation on a topic of your choice or supports your participation in conferences or training, then you are in the right place to unleash your potential.

Makes room for time-out and fun. Happy employees are the ones who are less stressed and have that work-life balance everyone is talking about. Does your employer give you time to reflect on your progress? Does your team celebrate some small achievements? After all, we all need some time to just stop and enjoy how far we have come!

Listens to your opinion. Being able to voice your opinion without hesitation and knowing it will be heard, makes you feel your opinion matters.  If you have seen yours or your colleagues’ ideas and views being taken into account, then your employer certainly has the ability to listen!

Recognizes your work. It is proven that receiving recognition contributes to the satisfaction one gets from their job. It doesn’t have to be a material reward, it could be in the form of a compliment or a genuine interest in your career development. Remember the last time you were praised for a task you’ve done great?

Cultivates collaboration. Can you make friends at your workplace? Does your employer give you opportunities to connect with people beyond your department? Friendship at work could be a real motivation for getting out of bed in the morning and cross team collaboration is a great way to nurture it.

5 tips for practicing Lykke at work

You don’t have to be fed up with your job to want to turn the place you spent most of your time into a source of happiness.

Though, there are things that are out of your control, especially when you work in a team, it is those you can take a full control of that could also make you happier.

Create food rituals.  As the saying goes “food unites people.” Don’t skip lunch with your colleagues and find a way to connect with new team members over a meal. At Accedia we have a dedicated chat platform for lunch where anyone can suggest a place and time for lunch and others can easily join them. The food is much tastier in in a group of friends! 

Appreciate your colleagues. If you’ve been to an interview, you probably know by now that hiring a “team player” is at the top of the skills agenda of the recruiter. Everyone brings different capabilities and knowledge to the table and you don’t need to be a manager to compliment a colleague or at least thank them for their contribution to a project.

Do good. Get involved with a company cause or initiate one that motivates you to spare not just your money, but at least a little face-to-face time and effort. Charity breakfasts are a tradition at Accedia which brings smiles to our team’s faces, challenges our cooking skills and gives us a common purpose.

See your work as a calling. No matter what you do for a living, try to look beyond the responsibilities your job comes with and focus on the best aspects of it. Whether it’s your colleagues, the clients or a specific task that makes you smile, consider your work of importance to others - someone else’s happiness might depend on it.

Track progress. Those who seek constant career development and invest efforts in going up the ladder need to know how far they have come in order to feel satisfied with their job. So, before taking on the next big challenge, make sure to evaluate where you stand at that moment and look back to reap the results when the time comes. Most importantly, spare time to enjoy that progress and share the success with your team.  

Final thoughts

While it is important to work for a company where you feel worthwhile, it is also you and your colleagues who could make a difference to the job you devoted most of your time to. Start with seeking a purpose and positive relationships at work, instead of waiting for a happy workplace to fall on you. Show your boss the benefits of practicing lykke or simply take the initiative in your hands!

Violeta is a Marketing Specialist at Accedia, promoting the value of developing software innovation. Social Media savvy, passionate about writing and traveling. If you’d like to learn more, get in touch via LinkedIn

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