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International Week of Happiness at Work

Phoebe Simcock, 24th Sep 2021
Tags: Life Blog Work

International Week of Happiness at Work is a Dutch initiative, an idea that originated from two people who believed happiness at work was important. This international day is celebrated between the 20th-26th September each year, and the plan is to completely change the workplace dynamic. 

They knew that when employees are happy at work, it’s likely to make them happier generally and thus they’ll be better friends and employees. 

The Office
Image Credit: Tenor

They have written a happiness at work manifesto to encourage other workplaces to follow by example and they’ve spread this joy all over the world with over 30 countries now joining the initiative.

Read a copy of the manifesto here, and you can print one-off for your workplace too. The manifesto speaks of happier employees being more creative, more cooperative and needing less time off due to mental burnouts. 

They encourage companies to abstain from unnecessary power, rules and complicated processes that sometimes can cause more harm than good. They want positivity, trust, fun and meaningful results and responsibilities to be a focus within the workplace.

A happy workspace is absolutely vital to our mental wellbeing.

The majority of us spend most of our lives in our workplace, and are surrounded by our colleagues more often than some of our family members. With this being the case, a happy workspace is absolutely vital to our mental wellbeing. 

Here at xRhythms and Cross Rhythms we have tried five new things to promote happiness in the workplace. Why not give them a go in your workplace?

Planning socials

Plan out work events with your workmates

It can be fun to meet with colleagues after work to reduce tension, build co-operation and form strong friendships. We have a group chat where we plan events and share our photos.

Congratulate your workmates on their achievements and celebrate everyone’s successes

Sometimes a humble sticky note can make someone’s day. Every Monday morning we have a meeting where we discuss our highlights from the previous week, it only takes 10 minutes but is an opportunity to congratulate or commiserate if someone has achieved or struggled with something.

Positive sticky note to coworker

Have regular interesting discussions

Invite a guest speaker into your workplace to discuss a topic that you’re all interested in or find a YouTube video that you could share during your breaks that is funny or relaxing. This can be great for conversation and comic relief during the day is good for your mental health too.

Spend dinners and breaks together rather than at your desk

We use our Teams group chat to signal when any of us intend to go for dinner, and now we all head down at the same time or share coffee breaks together chatting about our day.

Lunch with coworkers

Create a feedback box

A simple cardboard box with a slot can completely change the dynamic in the office. Share the responsibility of reading out new ideas and take it to a vote before enforcing them. This could be suggestions for social events, a new poster idea for the office or changes to your work schedules.

These changes may seem small, but happiness at work can be achieved by choice and co-operation, which starts small but has a great result when enforced. International Week of Happiness at Work may only be a week, but the changes that you make will stay with your colleagues for a lifetime.

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