Great Resignation Is Great Realization: Why Happiness At Work Is Possible

The onset of the global pandemic has offered a slower pace and new lenses to reflect on how we can live happier, more fulfilling lives. For many people, this means we spend about a third of our lives on our jobs. In the 2021 Workplace Happiness Study, commissioned by Indeed and conducted by Forrester Consulting, we learned that nearly 50% of people believe that expectations around work happiness have increased over the past five years. 1 In addition, 97% of people felt that happiness at work is possible.1

As some demand them to maintain remote work during the pandemic to maintain flexibility and work/life balance, others quit their jobs altogether in search of better, happier work. Microsoft studies hybrid work in 2021, 40% of the respondents He said he was considering leaving his employers this year. In June alone, Four lakh workers resigned. While some people refer to this pattern as the “Great Resignation,” one actually sees this moment as a “Great Realization,” an opportunity to find happier, more fulfilling work and, in turn, life.

In this article, we will discuss why happiness at work is possible, why you deserve it and what exactly makes us happy at work. To help us provide more transparency about happiness to people around the world, share how you’re feeling at work by participating in the Really Work Happiness Survey.

Why work pleasure is important and achievable

In her book “The Writing Life”, Annie Dillard says, “How we spend our days is, of course, how we spend our lives.” In our study, 92% of people said how they felt at work affected how they felt at home. 1 Finding ways to be truly happy in our work and personal lives is certainly an achievement in itself, but it also makes us better at our work. Psychology Professor and Happiness Specialist Dr. Sonja Lyubomirsky says research shows that happy people experience more success, positive reviews, more creativity, higher income and less burnout.

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“How we spend our days is, of course, how we spend our lives.” – Annie Dillard

Leading psychologists and wellness experts also agree that it is even more important to focus on wellbeing in times of transition and change, which we have certainly seen in the past year and a half. On top of that, job loss is one of top five most stressful events in a person’s life. Well-being contributes to overall happiness—and happy people are more likely to be flexible, energetic, and innovative in times of great challenge or stress.

Therefore, whether you are looking for a new job or investing in your current one, increasing your happiness is important, largely both for your quality of life and for success in your job or job search.

The 2021 Workplace Happiness Survey asked a question people would consider as the primary reasons they would leave their current jobs for new opportunities.

Actually Workplace Happiness Report

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Second only to pay, lack of happiness is a major reason people consider leaving a job. Others include:

  • “I don’t get paid fairly for my work.” (30%)
  • “I don’t feel happy at work most of the time.” (19%)
  • “I don’t feel energetic in most of my work tasks.” (18%)
  • “I don’t think I’m getting it.” (14%)
  • “My manager doesn’t help me succeed.” (13%)

Most of the respondents said that they would quit if they were not paid appropriately (30%), thereafter would not feel happy at work most of the time and would not feel energetic while doing work related tasks. 1 It’s worth considering how you feel at work to decide if you’re in the right role, with the right company, or if it’s time to make a change.

RELATED: How to Actually Use Work Happiness Score on Company Pages

what makes us happy at work

Happiness can have different meanings for different people. In fact research shows that people often make the wrong decisions about what drives their happiness at work. While many believe that compensation is the top predictor of happiness, in reality, the social elements of work prove to be more important. For example, dimensions such as being energized by your job (17%), feeling like you belong (12%) and a sense of purpose (11%) all rank higher than salary (5%):

what really makes us happy at work

Actually Studying Work Happiness and Consulting Leading Happiness Experts Doctor. Sonja Lyubomirsky And Dr. John-Emmanuel de NeveThe Director of Oxford University’s Wellbeing Research Center has helped us identify the following key drivers of work happiness:

  • affiliatedI feel a sense of belonging in my company.
  • energyIn most of my work assignments, I feel energized.
  • AppreciateThere are people at work who appreciate me as a person.
  • PurposeThe purpose of my work is clear.
  • AvailabilityI am achieving most of my goals at work.
  • CompensationI am paid fairly for my work.
  • HelpThere are people at work who support and encourage me.
  • LearnI often learn something on the job.
  • InclusionMy work environment feels inclusive and respectful to all people.
  • FLEXIBILITYMy work has the time and space flexibility that I need.
  • believeI can trust the people in my company.
  • ManagementMy manager helps me be successful.
  • stress levelI feel stressed at work most of the time.
  • SatisfactionOverall I am completely satisfied with my work.

While we may think that fair pay and flexibility are drivers of happiness, we may see them more as fundamental needs. Once those are found, we can focus on the aspects of our jobs that are proven to bring more pleasure, such as making you feel more comfortable, doing work that makes you energized and more appreciated. feels.

hierarchy of needs

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Advanced Needs: Low Said Importance, High Revealed Importance

  • Active
  • affiliated
  • Purpose
  • Availability
  • inclusive + respectful
  • believe
  • manager support
  • Help
  • FLEXIBILITY
  • Learn

Basic needs: high declared importance, low apparent importance

These dimensions change throughout our lives and careers, varying in importance to each of us as individuals. They can also vary based on our industry, job title, job type or hours, stage in our career and stage in life. Finding small but meaningful ways to integrate these dimensions into your current job or job search can help you find greater success, productivity, creativity, and of course, happiness.

A great place to start is to identify your key happiness drivers. To do this, consider your answers to the following questions:

  • How do each of the major drivers of happiness resonate with you?
  • Do some stand out more than others?
  • What does each of them mean to you?
  • How can you prioritize them in rank order?

For more tips, hear from the Indeed Work Happiness lead in our job cast and a seasoned career coach, Wellbeing at Work: Understanding What Makes Work Pleasure.


1 Indeed the Workplace Happiness Report, a commissioned study conducted by Forrester Consulting (n=4,033), 2021

Work Happiness Report, 2021:

This report shares the findings of research commissioned online by Forrester Consulting in March 2021. Forrester Consulting surveyed adults aged 18+ who reported full-time, part-time, and individuals actively seeking a new role: 4,033 US adults were surveyed.

To ensure a representative sample, quotas were set based on age, education, gender, geography and income.

The research explored a variety of topics related to happiness at work, including happiness in different aspects of respondents’ overall life, the contribution of workplace happiness to overall happiness, the importance of different dimensions of workplace happiness, and the underlying factors that affect respondents’ overall happiness. believes that different dimensions of workplace happiness will be affected.

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