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How Happy Is India’s Workforce

Creating sustained happiness at the workplace calls for ownership, both from the organization and the individual

What exactly is the true meaning of happiness? 

For every human being, happiness has a different definition. For some love might bring them happiness, for some it might be success, or knowledge, or family time, or fame, or wealth, or pets or even something as simple as walking alone in a park in the wee hours of the morning.

Basically, to some individuals happiness is often referred to as the feeling of joy combined with the satisfaction of leading a meaningful life. Also known as subjective well-being, happiness is related to positive emotions across different aspects of life, including work.

When it comes to career paths, people are truly happy when they are completely passionate about what they are doing. It gives them immense joy to invest time and energy into something they love to do. There is a very popular saying – “If you love what you do, then you haven’t worked a single day of your life.” According to a recent research conducted by the House of Cheer with Happyness.me, 59% of the Indian workforce is not happy at work. We can also say that stress levels are a major factor in determining the employees’ happiness levels at work. Happyness.me is a part of the consulting division of House of Cheer founded by Raj Nayak. 

The relatively new concept of workplace happiness stems from direct experiences of employees with their employer and their organization. Workplace happiness is a combination of both psychological factors and work place specific factors. High stress and low work-life balance contribute to lower workplace happiness. More men are happy at the workplace as compared to women. Full-time employees are happier than part-time employees. Majority of employees are seeking flexibility to maximize their workplace happiness. Employees who intend to leave their jobs are not unhappy people, but they are particularly unhappy at work. 

In the wake of COVID-19, several sectors were forced to pivot to working from home and modify remote working policies. Greater workplace happiness experienced due to the flexible hybrid work model demonstrates that more balanced work options may help buffer against some of the ill effects of stress and work-life interference. The shift from traditional in-office set-ups to hybrid models will occur through trial and error over a longer period of time. Nonetheless, it is essential to recognize that thriving in the post pandemic era of work depends on redeveloping organizational culture. As the threat of new variants of COVID-19 recedes with increased access to vaccines, organizations are assessing inevitable changes in work culture and contemplating future work environment options. 

The pandemic has shed previously held notions of work from home, with continuous meetings and 24/7 availability causing digital exhaustion. Employers have been compelled to reconsider what is necessary after seeing the ill effects of hyper-productivity. It was found that greater work-personal life interference resulted in lower workplace happiness. Work-life balance can be achieved through shared responsibility of ensuring prioritization, well-defined work hours, regular breaks, and time off. Managers play a crucial role in empowering employees to take these steps and should be given the necessary tools and training for executing these policies. Organizations need to build work cultures that endorse broader professional identities that accommodate adequate family time, and social interactions, and that value engagement in activities beyond work.

On a conclusive note, we can say - to combat the problems of an unhappy workforce that is susceptible to leaving the organization, employers need to know why employees leave and why they stay, and understanding this through surveys becomes essential. As belongingness was found to be an important driver of happiness at work, employers need to nurture stronger social connections within the workplace.



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