Learning at Work Week #4 – Happiness: It’s Serious.

20 May 2016 | Debbie Martin | About a 3 minute read
Tags: Academy, Friday Fun at 4.44, Happiness, Learning at Work Week, Psychology

What is positive psychology?

Positive Psychology is a new wave of scientific study that looks at how and why people flourish. It began being studied in detail in the late 1990s as an alternative to the mainstream study of psychological illness and suffering.

Why does it matter at work?

We spend about a third of our lives at work – that’s approximately 99,000 hours!

New technology is making the distinction between our home lives and work lives more blurred. We expect to be connected all the time, everywhere, and increasingly our employers are coming to expect that too. Therefore, if we want to be happy in our lives overall, we should focus on being happy at work as much as we do on our home lives.

At AND Digital we have a plethora of activities focused on our physical and mental well-being. From a fit-bit challenge (seeing who can walk the most steps in a month) and on-site massages to digital detox days and Friday Fun @ 4.44 to unwind with colleagues.

Work or home, I was just born with “sad genes”

Although genetics do have some impact on our personality, in fact it has been demonstrated that our genes only influence 50% of our set happiness levels.


I’ll be happy when I get a promotion and that new car

This is a common misconception. Most of us think that achieving the next status or financial goal will make us happy, but in actual fact our circumstances (marital status, living arrangements, employment etc.) only account for a 10% swing in our happiness. This is tiny. The process of constantly chasing the next success is known as the hedonic treadmill and causes us to never be satisfied with the present because we are always looking to what is over the horizon.

Ok, so everything I thought was making me unhappy isn’t, what do I do now?

  • Take control. Studies show you have direct influence over 40% of your happiness level. No-one else can influence this but you. Changing the way you think will change the way you behave which will change the relationships you have with others. Make a positive change today.
  • Undertake one or more of these positivity practices:
    1. Savour life’s joys
    2. Practice acts of kindness towards others
    3. Express gratitude for what you have
    4. Look after your body
  • Avoid these pitfalls
    1. holding grudges
    2. overthinking and dwelling on problems
    3. social comparison

At AND Digital we have weekly meditation sessions to help people refocus their energy and find some calm. We also savour joy by celebrating our successes together and encourage the giving of real-time feedback with positive intent so we can grow together as a team.

 And remind me, why is this relevant to work?

Firstly, the relationships we have at work are no longer limited to our objectives and the 9-5. We socialise with our colleagues. We work collaboratively. We give each other feedback and celebrate or commiserate together. Our relationships with colleagues are so much more complex than they used to be and therefore if something is making us unhappy it will soon make those around us unhappy. Bringing our best selves to work means that we and our teams will flourish and this leads us to point number two:

Research shows that happier people are more successful. They are more productive. More creative. Better able to overcome obstacles and cope under pressure. They are also healthier leading to less absence from work. Tell me what company wouldn’t benefit from having people like that from the shop floor to the boardroom?

At AND Digital we look after the well-being of our people and the result is a culture of inclusivity, compassion and teaming, and of course happiness.

Happiness isn’t a destination. It’s the mind-set you take on the journey.


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