On average, we spend a third of our life working, that’s 90,000 hours over a lifetime. So it makes sense that our workplaces are happy ones, right?
Even if your ‘new normal’ is working from home, it still applies that the work interactions you have are important to feeling happiness at work.
Happy people 🙂
People who are happy at work tend to enjoy life more and have better health, stronger relationships and a greater sense of purpose. They are better friends, partners and neighbours. They are more likely to give to charity and volunteer.
These happier people are also great for business! Happier employees have a huge advantage over unhappy employees. They have been proven to be more productive, creative and work better with colleagues. They are more flexible in their work, more committed and resilient too.
This all sounds great doesn’t it? Who wouldn’t want happier employees and happier neighbours!
Unfortunately, we know that in 2018/19 stress, depression or anxiety accounted for 44% of all work-related ill health cases and 54% (that’s 72 million) of all working days lost due to ill health.(1) According to the Centre for Mental Health, this accounts for a financial loss to business estimated at £34.9 billion each year, and rising.(2)
International Week of Happiness at Work…
In 2018 a Dutch initiative was declared, the last week of September shall be The International Week of Happiness at Work! During this week we invite everybody to put the topic on the agenda of your organisation and start to make the change to a happier workplace. The International Week of Happiness at work is not owned by anyone, nor are there any rules or do’s and don’ts. It is a Do-It-Yourself movement. So let’s do it!
Leaders and managers play a hugely important part in workplace happiness, their role is to create a company-wide culture of good mental health at work. Whether in a grass-roots start up business, or a worldwide power house, the way leaders lead their people should be with understanding, fairness and empowerment. They have the most impact and should be aware of how they are using it.
This culture is what attracts people to working for a company, and it’s what helps keep the retention of employees. It is both a feeling and a carefully planned and measurable action.
So, how do we make our workplaces happier?
Every one of us can influence the happiness levels at our workplace through our own behaviour and attitudes. This doesn’t mean to say we must all be happy all the time, we know that is not an achievable aim..! However, making a conscious effort to improve our happiness at work will not only benefit ourselves but those around us too.
Take a look at some important ways you and your employers can make your work life happier…
Thriving at Work Report – 6 Mental Health Core Standards
In 2017, the government commissioned Lord Stevenson and Paul Farmer (Chief Executive of Mind) to independently review the role employers can play to better support individuals with mental health conditions in the workplace.
The ‘Thriving at Work’ report sets out what employers can do to better support all employees, including those with mental health problems to remain in and thrive through work.
The review quantifies how investing in and supporting mental health at work is good for business and productivity. The most important recommendation is that all employers, regardless of size or industry, should adopt 6 ‘mental health core standards’ that lay basic foundations for an approach to workplace mental health.
1. Produce, implement and communicate a mental health at work plan
2. Develop mental health awareness among employees
3. Encourage open conversations about mental health and the support available when employees are struggling
4. Provide your employees with good working conditions
5. Promote effective people management
6. Routinely monitor employee mental health and wellbeing.
In line with the 6 mental health core standards above, here at SkillBase First Aid we provide Mental Health First Aid courses available at our training centre in Leicester, as an online course or we can come to you wherever you are in England!
We also have a dedicated Mental Health Training Manager to consult with you and your organisation on strategy, implementing MHFA and all wellbeing related policies.
Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) is an internationally recognised training course which teaches people how to spot the signs and symptoms of mental ill health and provide help on a first aid basis.
MHFA won’t teach you to be a therapist, but just like physical first aid, it will teach you to listen, reassure and respond, even in a crisis. Every MHFA course is delivered by a quality assured instructor accredited by The Royal Society for Public Health, and is trained to keep people safe and supported while they learn.
10 Keys to Happiness
We can all take steps to improve our own mental health, and build our resilience – our ability to cope with adversity.
We love Action for Happiness – ’10 Keys to Happier Living’
Based on the latest research, they identified these 10 keys that consistently tend to make life happier and more fulfilling. Together they spell “GREAT DREAM”.
Giving – Do things for others
Relating – Connect with other people
Exercising – Take care of your body
Awareness – Live life mindfully
Trying Out – Keep learning new things
Direction – Have goals to look forward to
Resilience – Find ways to bounce back
Emotions – Look for what’s good
Acceptance – Be comfortable with who you are
Meaning – Be part of something bigger
We’ll be looking at the 10 Keys in more detail soon, watch this space!
Sign the Happy at Work Manifesto!
Yes, I want to contribute to a world where being happy at work is the norm, not the exception. Therefore I sign this manifesto and will do everything within my power to put Happiness at Work at the top of the agenda. For myself, within my team and my organisation.
We believe in equality between mental and physical health, that’s why we provide training in both ✅
(1) HSE Work-related stress, anxiety or depression in Great Britain
(2) Centre for Mental Health, Mental Health at Work – The Business Costs Ten Years On