The International Week of Happiness at Work is an initiative aimed at promoting and celebrating happiness and wellbeing in the workplace. It is typically observed during the last week of September each year and today is the first day to celebrate this awareness week.
The idea behind this week is to raise awareness about the importance of creating a positive work environment where employees feel valued, engaged and happy.
Here are some key aspects of the International Week of Happiness at Work:
The primary purpose of this week is to encourage organisations and individuals to focus on creating a workplace culture that prioritises employee wellbeing and happiness. Happy employees are more likely to be productive, creative, and loyal to their organisations.
Activities and events
During the International Week of Happiness at Work, various activities and events are organised in workplaces and communities around the world. These can include workshops, seminars, team-building exercises, and other initiatives aimed at improving workplace happiness.
The concept of positive psychology plays a significant role during this week. Positive psychology focuses on strengths, wellbeing, and factors that contribute to a fulfilling life. Organisations may incorporate positive psychology principles into their workplace practices and policies.
Engaging employees in activities that promote happiness and wellbeing is a central theme. Employers may encourage team building, mindfulness exercises, or recognition programs to boost morale and foster positive relationships among employees.
Leadership and management
Leaders and managers are encouraged to play an active role in creating a happy workplace. They can lead by example, promote open communication, and support employees in their personal and professional growth.
Some organisations use this week as an opportunity to assess employee satisfaction and wellbeing through surveys or feedback mechanisms. This data can help identify areas for improvement.
While the International Week of Happiness at Work is a focused event, the aim is to create lasting changes in workplace culture. Organisations are encouraged to continue their efforts to promote happiness at work throughout the year and not this week alone.
The initiative has gained international recognition and companies, non-profits, and individuals from around the world participate in this week to spread the message of workplace happiness.
This year’s theme.
This year’s theme is be mindful, be grateful and be kind. Gratitude, mindfulness and kindness are interconnected pillars of emotional and spiritual wellbeing. They collectively foster a profound sense of inner peace and harmony.
Gratitude teaches us to appreciate the blessings and abundance in our lives, reminding us to focus on what we have rather than what we lack. It cultivates a profound awareness of the beauty in everyday moments, promoting a positive outlook and reducing feelings of entitlement.
Mindfulness, on the other hand, encourages us to be fully present in the here and now, acknowledging our thoughts and feelings without judgment. It helps us develop a heightened sense of self-awareness, fostering a deeper understanding of our emotions and reactions. Through mindfulness, we can better manage stress, anxiety and negative thoughts, allowing us to live more authentically.
Kindness is the outward manifestation of these inner practices. It entails not only being compassionate and empathetic toward others but also toward ourselves. Kindness extends a hand to those in need, fostering connections, and creating a ripple effect of positivity in our communities. When gratitude, mindfulness, and kindness are integrated into our lives, they become a powerful force for personal growth and societal change. They enable us to navigate life’s challenges with grace, savour its joys with profound appreciation, and contribute to a world where compassion and understanding flourish. In embracing these values, we find a path to greater contentment, deeper relationships, and a more meaningful existence.
Sheri Hughes, UK & MEA DE&I Director at PageGroup, FTSE 250 recruiter:
“Our 2023 Talent Trends study surveyed 70,000 workers globally and revealed nearly 7 out of 10 would prioritise their mental health and a good work-life balance over career success. We know that post-pandemic, achieving a positive work-life balance has become more important than ever before and it’s a must for the modern worker’s happiness. And, now that we’ve had a taste of hybrid working, the benefits, including more time for friends, family and hobbies, are too important to give up.
“Company culture can have a massive impact on happiness, motivation and satisfaction. Whatever you do at work should add to your life, and whilst we all have tough days at work, in general your career should bring you fulfilment. Finding somewhere that suits your working style can help you to feel happier at work.
“Currently, as younger generations establish themselves in the workplace, expectations on employers are higher than ever. Our data shows that one of the top drivers for younger workers is their overall experience in the workplace – with happiness in role, skills-based learning and the ability to thrive in a positive culture all major requirements.
“However, how much time someone has spent in their industry, company or their job shouldn’t be a detractor for happiness in the workplace. The responsibility for business and HR leaders is to ensure there’s genuine sense of happiness at work for their employees, not just a one-off gesture for this week.”
By incorporating these principles into the International Week of Happiness at Work, organisations can promote a culture that prioritises employee wellbeing, fosters positive relationships and ultimately contributes to a happier and more productive workforce.
Creating a happy and positive work environment not only benefits employees’ wellbeing but also contributes to increased productivity, reduced turnover and improved overall company performance. The International Week of Happiness at Work serves as a reminder of the importance of fostering a culture of happiness in the workplace.