how to find a happy workplace

You may have recently heard of a “Great Resignation” – a phenomenon that has been triggered by a global pandemic that has upset people for a variety of reasons. Quit your job in large numbers. Indeed, we see this moment as the “great realization” of millions of people who want more from their jobs, companies, and work lives.

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 this article, we share practical ways to find companies that align with your values, and therefore a company that helps you find greater happiness at work.

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

Why work pleasure matters

Many of us spend a third of our lives at work. In addition, 92% of people report that their happiness at work affects their mood at home.1 Research also shows that people are up to 20% more productive when they feel happy.2

Leading happiness researcher Dr. Sonja Lyubomirsky says, “Research has shown that happiness is the key to success: Happier people get more positive reviews at work, are more productive and more creative, earn higher incomes and are less likely to drop out or be absent from work. Happy people are also more likely to get a job and keep a job.”

defining your values

The India’s Work Happiness Study and consultation with leading happiness experts Dr. Sonja Lyubomirsky and Dr. Jan-Emmanuel de Neve, Director of the Wellbeing Research Center at Oxford University, have 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.
  • HappinessI feel happy at work most of the time.

While all of the above are dimensions that bring happiness at work, some can have a greater impact on your level of happiness at work than others. So, take some time to reflect on the dimensions that you value the most. You can do this by focusing on the times you feel happiest in your job or the times you feel happiest at previous jobs.

You can start by asking yourself questions like:

  • Are there specific activities or tasks that make me feel particularly energized or make me pass the time faster?
  • Do I feel happiest during certain types of interactions with people?
  • During what types of meetings do I feel most engaged?
  • What aspects of my job do I enjoy the most? Which do I enjoy the least?

By answering questions like these, you can consider stack rankings on the dimensions of happiness to establish your essentials in a company. For more information and exercises on defining your values, visit Defining Your Values ​​to Find the Happiness of Work.

Finding the right companies

Once you have defined the dimensions of happiness that matter most to you, you can use that information to guide your research and find companies that align with those values. Remember, no company or job is perfect, but you can set up a set of no-nonsense conversations to use during your job search.

1. Do Your Research

If you’ve found a job that interests you, you can use their price list to start researching employers who posted those jobs.

Scan their website and social channels.
Begin by researching their Internet presence, including their website, job opening pages and social media accounts, looking for indicators that their values ​​align with yours. Next, try and figure out their vision or mission statement, company values, and a list of employee benefits.

Look for mentions in the news.
Search general news coverage and specific industry publications for recent updates about the company and its competitors. Scanning customer forums and product reviews can also help you assess a company’s reputation.

It’s also a good idea to scan the headlines for significant changes in the company’s recent past. Note any significant events, such as widespread layoffs, corporate mergers or purchases, a new CEO, etc. Such changes can bring opportunities, but can also result in low morale and an unstable work environment.

Ask your network for opinions.
Get advice from trusted, trusted friends and colleagues. After you’ve researched online, discuss what you’ve learned with your network. Ask people you know about their own company culture and what opportunities exist. If you’re a recent college graduate building your network from scratch, ask university advisors for the names of alumni working at your target companies. Consider reaching out to these guys for a quick coffee.

2. Read Reviews

On the Indeed Company page of the employer, there is a section for Q&A. You can see what other people are saying about the benefits out there, along with conversations on the hiring, interview process, and company culture. You can also ask yourself a question.

You will also find the Work Happiness Score displayed on the company page of the organization under the ‘Snapshot’ section. The Work Happiness Score is based on anecdotal employee responses to their company saying, “I feel happy at work most of the time.” This question is asked on a five-point scale (where one means strongly disagree and five means strongly agree), and the resulting scores are indicated on a scale of one to 100.

Check out the company’s work happiness report to find out how they ranked in each happiness dimension, including both their strengths and areas of opportunity. For example, if you have identified accolades as your top happiness driver, you should look for companies with high scores in that area.

3. Ask Questions During the Hiring Process

During the hiring process, you should have plenty of opportunities to ask questions to employers to learn more about how they prioritize each of the job happiness metrics. Before your interview, take some time to write down the questions you need answered in order to feel confident about the job.

for example:

  • affiliatedWhat organizational practices do you use to make sure everyone feels included?
  • energyHow do you allow your team to build skills in line with your career goals?
  • AppreciateHow does this company or team celebrate success?
  • PurposeHow will the team I am working on support the goals of the company?
  • AvailabilityWhat should I expect to achieve in my first 90 days if I am hired for this position?
  • CompensationCan you tell me about the promotion and increment process?
  • HelpHow does this company support its employees?
  • LearnDoes the company ever sponsor continuing education of its employees?
  • InclusionHow does the company practice inclusivity and respect in its day-to-day operations?
  • FLEXIBILITYDoes the company offer flex, work-from-home or relaxation programs?
  • believeCan you tell me how teams collaborate and support each other on projects?
  • ManagementHow would you describe your management style?
  • stress levelWhat are the main challenges a person in this position may face?
  • SatisfactionHow long have you worked in this position and why have you continued to work here?

RELATED: The Complete Guide to Researching a Company

Prioritizing work pleasure at your current job

If you already have a job that you cannot or do not plan to leave, there are also ways you can improve the pleasure of work in your current role. Begin by identifying your values ​​as described above, then gradually begin to incorporate practices into your job that help you improve those values.

for example:

  • Regularly ask yourself if your company is meeting your needs. why or why not?
  • Join or start an employee resource group that aligns with your values.
  • Create a “brag book” detailing your achievements in the company and use it when the time comes for promotions or performance reviews.
  • Work with your manager to align your tasks with your strengths by doing less tasks that drain your energy and more tasks that make you feel busy.
  • Have weekly meetings with your manager to get more help with your job and to discuss ways you can improve happiness at work over time.

For more thought exercises and information on finding happiness at work, click here to download your free Work Happiness Workbook. You can also check out our job cast, Well Being at Work: Understanding What Drives Work Happiness.


1 The Indeed Workplace Happiness Report, a commissioned study (n = 4,033 US adults) conducted by Forrester Consulting on behalf of Indeed, 2021.
2 Bellett, Clement and de Neve, Jan-Emmanuel and Ward, George, Does employee happiness have an effect on productivity?, October 2019.

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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