Happiness at work: Lessons from home

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Have you ever wondered what the definition of an ideal workspace is? Is it the one with a breakout room, an open space floor plan or simply an appreciative leadership team?

While the answer will vary from one workspace to other depending on each individual and business need, the need to instil happiness remains constant and we discovered a unique perspective to that. Happiness and satisfaction are very subjective concepts – while for some may equate monetary benefits with job satisfaction, some might look for recognition of their hard work. The question remains, how to curate an all-inclusive approach meeting the needs of each employee that may equate to happiness in their own unique way. One way to experience it can be by bringing in lessons from home to our workspace.

Work isn’t where you go; it’s what you do. Home is similar. It is a place you go, but more than that, it’s an experience you get. Similarly, the best workspaces are that incorporate lessons from home create memories, capture the happenings and tell stories because it’s more than just about comfortable seating or looking at your television screen.

Family sociologists like to invoke the Anna Karenina rule: Not all home life is happy, but there are some shared principles that work really well when we take them to work. Belonging, trust, and safety make the list, but there are more to these

PRACTICING THE ACCOUNTABILITY FOR HOUSE CHORES

Though home allows us to be calm and be who we are in all trueness, at home we are accountable for various things, be doing dishes or clearing their dirty socks laying around the floor. While people may discourage it, they cannot ignore it as it’s an important chore to the household and will be held accountable for it. Similarly, no one is allowed to leave their dirty socks or wet towels around for others to pick up. Hence, a constructive culture at a workplace needs to be be built on the principle where it is important that all employees were held accountable for how they treated others and how they achieved results.

EMBRACING THE TRANSFORMATION OF A TODDLER TO A TEENAGER

These are one of the testing times for families as children test limits and push boundaries most significantly. As challenging as they are, it is also important to embrace the change since humans are evolving and growing into the truest form of themselves, finding their voices, and exercising autonomy. These things make for healthy adults – and as it turns out, healthy workplaces. Putting home into work involves giving people more choice and control. Workplaces that offer choice in where people work, when they work, and how they work (what they work on)  are places where people get to be grown-ups and make meaningful contributions. It is all about the choices.

CARE FOR YOUR PEOPLE AS YOU CARE FOR YOUR FAMILY

Home is a place where people know you inside out and like us in spite of what they know about us- the good and the bad. The bets at workplaces are similar. Creating the emotional experience of home at work means people feel safe to truly be themselves and they can trust others to hold them in positive regard. At work, rather than putting up a protective shield in front of us, we should be able to bring our fullest self and workplace should stretch us to bring out our best and push us to be better.

The result of these practices is such that employees who felt happy at work and had better working days scored high on positive emotions and low on emotions like loneliness, hopelessness, depression, and insecurities. People with positive emotions are more compassionate and empathetic towards their colleagues and subordinates as well as satisfied with their jobs.

At the end of the day, home is a place where we have an attachment. It’s our territory and our cocoon. It’s a place where we care about the people and the circumstances, by giving us the best of the work experience, too. A space where that creates the conditions for us to be our best, challenges us alongside colleagues whom we value and who value us, is the best of bringing home to work.

(Article By- Mr. Praveen Rawal, Steelcase Asia Pacific, Managing Director, India and Southeast Asia)