Today, I was having a chat with a colleague about the nordic term/phrase for happiness at work:

It’s an interesting thought/idea/concept, to be happy at work. And that there is an actual word for the phrase, but only in the Nordic languages, makes for some interesting theories, about why they are the only culture who believe in it being possible to experience happiness at work.

There’s a great website that goes into more detail about what is Arbejdsglæde.

It was certainly intriguing today, as I reflected on how I almost always enjoy the work that I do. There has only ever been a few occasions, in a job, where I haven’t genuinely had fun doing it. Most times, the people are great, the work itself is stimulating, and given that I spend most of my waking hours in the office, or working, it’s important for me to be doing something I enjoy. It certainly helps if I have a natural or acquired talent in the skills I need for my work and it is so important to be working with people who are good company, and nice to be around.

The last thing I want, is to take a role where there is just constant stress, anxiety, or a general sense of malcontent in the office, between people, or even from management. Trust is critical, for me, in a role, as if you’re going to hire staff, you really need to trust them in what they’re doing, and be able to delegate to them, and let them do their jobs. Otherwise, there isn’t really any point in hiring a person, if you can’t trust them to do the work. And trust is such a key necessary measure for happiness, as I can’t imagine working somewhere where everyone is suspicious of each other, and no-one trusts anyone.

Whenever I’ve found myself in a role, where I’ve started to lose the ‘happiness’ in doing the work, I know that it’s time to move on. If work is too easy, or simple, then sometimes, it can seem monotonous. Equally, if the job is too difficult, or challenging, and you don’t have the right level of support that you need to develop your skills, then you probably won’t enjoy your role either.

Projekt Arbejdsglæde Team

That said, when you do find something you love work wise, and you enjoy the company of the people you work with, then perhaps you are also starting to experience some of that Arbejdsglæde at work.

I’d love to hear from you, do you enjoy yourself at work? Have you ever considered the possibility of doing work that you love? Or does that possibility just seem too removed, or remote to you? Please leave your answers in the comments below 😉

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One Comment to “Happiness at work”

  1. Pecan says:

    I love this concept! I wish we had it in the US but the video is correct; if execs see people having fun at work they are suspicious that no work is getting done and that is often far from the truth. There is no reason happiness and productivity can not coexist.
    My favourite job ever is also the position where I worked the hardest and had my greatest success but I could not infect the rest of the office with my drive or happiness. Eventually I had to leave or die of exhaustion. The work of the unhappy was being pushed on me while the miserable people just went home after eight hours. Management did not want me to quit but maybe if they weeded out those who were not satisfied or up to the challenge of what we were doing, the work could have been spread more equally.
    In the end, I blame the litigious nature of the U.S. workplace. Management and owners are constantly afraid employees will sue them for wrongful termination so they can not separate those happy in their jobs and willing to go the extra mile from those who are just there to get a paycheck. Young as the U.S. is, our laws are antiquated for today’s ambitious employees. We need a work place where we do not have to sink ourselves to the lowest common denominator and then we can all be happy and successful – worker and employers.

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