Book Summary: Happy Hour is 9 to 5

Let's be honest. We all know that the best team consists of satisfied workers, managers, customers, and suppliers. They complete more work, produce more new ideas, and generate more value. But why is that?

Well, Chief Happiness Officer Alexander Kjerulf believes he has the solution. In his book, Happy Hour is 9 to 5, he explains why.

For the next 10 minutes, we'll show you how to love your job, love your life, and kick ass at work.

Lesson #1: Happiness at Work 101

A male playing guitar during work break hours to make him feel happy.

As a Dane, Kjerulf is happy to proclaim that Scandinavian employees are the happiest. It's ingrained in their personality.

He considers job pleasure to be an emotion. It arises from within us and, like all other emotions, it is difficult to explain yet unavoidable once experienced.

One thing is certain: we know when we are — and especially when we are not — happy at work, even if we don't have an accurate description.

Happiness at work, on the other hand, is not the same for everyone. That means treating everyone differently because only a few individuals are pleased when everyone is treated the same.

Have you ever felt thrilled for someone else? Workplace happiness is the same. It's similar to a virus. A single cheerful employee may lift the emotions of a whole department.

Unfortunately, misery is much more contagious than pleasure. Thus our happiness is dependent on the people around us.

Job satisfaction, according to Kjerulf, is not the same as happiness. Do you want to be content with your job for the rest of your life? I don't think so!

However, no matter how much we enjoy our jobs, we will have some unpleasant days. Happiness at work, according to Kjerulf, isn't about getting rid of all the icky stuff. It's about being content at work, despite some of these negative aspects being there.

  • We will not be happy at work until we make a conscious effort to be so.
  • We won't make the best choices for our happiness.
  • We will not take the necessary steps to get there.
  • We will not change what has to be changed.

"Happiness, like unhappiness, is a proactive choice," remarked the late Stephen Covey.

Lesson #2: Make Me Happy at Work

A male having an informal chat with his worker though zoom video while working from home.

Happiness at work, according to Kjerulf, is less about what we have and more about what we accomplish.

We may have a fantastic leader and a fantastic staff, but our contributions have made it such. And it'll be what we do today that keeps it that way.

Kjerulf outlines six simple acts that might boost our mood and make us more productive at work. These are elements that we may include in our jobs and work environments.

Let's take a closer look at each of them.

Happy Action #1: Be Positive

Positivity is a vital talent to master. It's necessary for both personal satisfaction and professional success. Possibilities, solutions, and enjoyment are the emphasis of positive individuals and workplaces.

It's not that they overlook difficulties or dangers; rather, they've discovered that being optimistic makes them happier and more productive. Many workplaces, in fact, focus on the bad.

While meetings focus on issues, everything that goes right is disregarded. 'Praise,' according to Kjerulf, is the secret to happiness. It's the most efficient way to make employees at work pleased. It's also something that everyone can do.

Happy Action #2: Learn

No matter how much we like our jobs, if we keep doing the same thing in the same way for a long period, we will eventually tire of it. We require stimulation and education.

There are several methods to learn at work. We can either learn about ourselves, the people around us, and the workplace, or we can learn about ourselves, the people around us, and the workplace.

We may hold a meeting and learn from each other, learn while working on a project, or learn by working alone. We may learn from our coworkers by conversing with them.

The main argument made by Kjerulf is that learning is a source of stimulus. Positive reinforcement. Happiness requires positivity.

Happy Action #3: Be Open

According to Kjerulf, we are more likely to be satisfied at work if we can be ourselves and act honestly. Having to suppress our true feelings and ideas, on the other hand, will make us miserable at work.

Most businesses are notorious for their secrecy. Employees who are fully informed about what is going on, on the other hand, are more efficient and capable of making sound judgments.

The only way to ensure openness is for every one of us to express our true feelings. We don't have to be harsh or unpleasant about it, but we do have to say what's actually on our minds.

Complaining, believe it or not, maybe an effective strategy for bringing about change. However, we require constructive criticism. Here are a few instances of how they vary.

  • Not constructive: Vent to anybody who would listen.
  • Constructive: Make a complaint to someone who can help.
  • Not constructive: Pointing fingers
  • Constructive: Take a good look at yourself first.
  • Not constructive: All you do is whine.
  • Constructive: Express your dissatisfaction while also appreciating what you have.

Constructive complaining helps create change, whereas unconstructive complaining drains everyone's strength, optimism, and belief that change can happen.

Happy Action #4: Participate

Happiness, according to Kjerulf, entails the power to manage our own surroundings. We feel more active than passive when we are participating in the decisions that affect us. And being busy makes you happier.

We will miss chances if we just engage when we are invited. If there's anything we truly, really want to be a part of, we have to invite ourselves!

Being in charge of our own work schedules is critical. It's all about speaking up and sticking up for what you believe in. Do you have a great idea? Get it out of your system. Continue till someone pays attention.

The benefits are obvious: as we generate more thoughts and ideas, we create more energy and inspiration, and as a result, we attract more collaborators and allies to assist us in bringing the concept to life. It's better if there's a lot of it!

Happy Action #5: Find Meaning

It's a lot simpler to be joyful if our work has significance and we remember it. We are proud of what we do when we see how our effort adds to the company's success.

According to Kjerulf, it is critical to make outcomes apparent so that we can see what we've accomplished.

The majority of individuals are content only when they perform well and get excellent results. He recommends that we establish a to-do list to check off finished activities and see how much work we've accomplished each day or week. We may see ourselves progressing in this way.

Contributing to something other than ourselves is another great approach to find purpose. Work may be a springboard for helping the community, a charity, the environment, society, and so on.

Happy Action #6: Love

According to Maslow's hierarchy of needs, our most basic needs are physiological (sleep, food, etc.) and safety. Following that is our need to belong and be liked. Our species has developed in groups and communities, and few can be content unless we are part of one.

Simple indicators that individuals like each other and communicate well are how Kjerulf perceives this sort of love.

He advises us to get to know the individuals we work with. We don't have to be friends with everyone, but healthy connections are essential for job satisfaction.

Building and maintaining excellent connections may not require much work, but it does necessitate it. It's critical to keep communication open; else, relationships might wither and perish.

Lesson #3: Why Happiness at Work Matters

A team taking time to chat about anything to achieve workplace happiness.

Why is it important to be happy at work? Isn't it possible for us to merely go to work, sit at our desks, collect our paychecks, and be happy in our spare time?

According to Kjerulf, pleasure at work is not just important. Still, it is also a key factor in determining whether a person or a firm will succeed.

Workplace happiness is not an extravagance. Happiness determines our job satisfaction, our quality of life outside of work, and our success more than anything else.

So, who is responsible for making you happy at work? What's the name of your boss? Who are your coworkers? What about the business?

For three simple reasons, according to Kjerulf, the ultimate responsibility for our pleasure at work can only rest with you:

• Workplace happiness is an emotion. It's something entirely internal. We are the only ones who know when we are content at work. We can only tell if things are OK or if anything needs to be changed.

• Workplace happiness is subjective. We are the only ones who know what it takes to be happy at work. As a result, our responsibility is to ensure that we have all we require to be happy.

• Making ourselves happy at work involves making some difficult decisions. It might imply resigning and looking for new employment. It might involve going up against the company's current culture and principles.

Only you have the authority to decide whether or not to do these things. It is up to you to make the decision and take responsibility.

Lesson #4: Happiness in the Hierarchy

A cheerful boss helping his employee climb up the cliff to achieve success together.

The most essential job we have as managers is to make ourselves happy at work. A cheerful boss is a natural role model for employees and, by nature, promotes a positive attitude.

Second, managers must be aware of and concerned about their employees. We can't lead others unless we have a genuine interest in them and a thorough understanding.

Good managers know everything there is to know about their employees and utilize that information to create an environment where it is simple to be happy. Employees can choose whether or not to take advantage of this opportunity. We can't make people happy through force.

Finally, the firm is responsible for putting happiness at work first, valuing it, and rewarding it.

It's pointless for a corporation to claim, "We want employees to enjoy their jobs," and then force overtime, reward ruthlessness, and operate in an authoritarian manner. It is essential to be truly happy.

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