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Why your happiness determines your success at work

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Headaches, anxiety, insomnia and overwhelming stress – sound familiar? These ailments are all too common among working professionals in every industry, across the world. According to SafeWork Australia, pressure from work is the most common reason for stress leave. Left untreated, mental stress and ill health and happiness cost Australian businesses up to $10.9 billion dollars every year. And that’s just the professional costs, what about the personal ones?

A study by KPMG shows that one in five Australians experience mental ill health in any given year, while Deloitte discovered less than 20% of us are happy at work. Considering we spend a third of our time at work, that is a cause for major concern. As you can imagine, this has a significant impact, not only on our lives, but on those with impact and interact with: customers, clients, colleagues, friends and family.  So what to do?

A human problem

The search for happiness is a universal goal. Yet, for the longest time, happiness has been the most misunderstood driver of personal and professional performance. It has always seemed like a ‘nice-to-have’ not a ‘must-have’. Work and happiness are interrelated. Firstly, is there really anyone in this world who doesn’t want to be happy?

Secondly, as we’re spending so much time in employment, wouldn’t we want to spend that in a fulfilling and satisfying way? According to research conducted by the Langley Group, happiness in the workplace raises most business and educational outcomes, increasing sales by 37%, productivity by 31% and accuracy on tasks by 19%.

Happy employees are productive employees. Likewise, a happy workplace attracts good people who in turn do their best work for the company. Businesses that rate highly on employee wellbeing, report greater customer loyalty, productivity and profitability. Those in the top quartile on employee engagement averaged $80,000 to $120,000 higher sales revenue per month.

All of these statistics and identified trends and challenges are not restricted to one industry, one type of business owner, nor one type of business. They are universal across all areas, people and markets.  We are human after all, and happiness is a human issue.

A happy solution

When we are engaged in our work, we feel more enthusiasm for our work – we want to work! A little stress can be motivational, in terms of getting a job done, or meeting a deadline. However, a lot of stress can wreak havoc to your health and relationships, which is why it’s important to maintain and manage it.

When you are happy, you thrive. You experience growth in all aspects of your life and business. This brings out the best in other people too. Your team feel empowered: part of the vision and part of the success. They feel appreciated, trusted, mentored, challenged and valued. This is the biggest driver of personal and professional success, and it’s why your health and wellbeing are key to business performance, productivity and profit. Isn’t that a genuine reason to feel happy?

8 tips to top up your happiness bucket

  1. Accept that there are events that you cannot control.
  2. Exercise regularly – bodies fight stress better when fit.
  3. Eat healthy, well-balanced meals that fuel you.
  4. Set limits and say no to requests that create excessive stress in your life.
  5. Make time for hobbies and external interests.
  6. Get enough rest and sleep.
  7. Make time for those you love.

Get support from outside your immediate network.

About Anastasia Massouras

Anastasia Massouras is a leader, facilitator and coach helping small business owners and teams to overcome barriers that prevent growth and success. She is the CEO of Work Happy, which provides wellbeing and employee assistance programs and tailored advice for corporates, as well as the founder and CEO of Pure Insights, a consultancy specialising in mental health intervention. Download the new whitepaper, Small Business Matters, at www.anastasiamassouras.com

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