In the age of balance between personal and work life, can we talk about happiness at work?

The paradigm of employment as “suffering” falls into disgrace at the hands of new generations seeking personalization, transparency and well-being.

If we look at the etymology of the word “work,” we find that it comes from the Latin tripalium, the three sticks with which they held the slaves to torture them.

In turn, “laburar” comes from the lunfardo, associated with the prison jargon: when a prisoner sent another to steal and is related to “laburo”, taken from the Italian word “laboro”, which means to hang.

Moreover, in Hebrew “avodá” comes from “avadim”: slaves. And “business” is, neither more nor less than the denial of leisure.

In short, work is conceived and related, from the beginning of time, to suffering.

If we think about it, it is terrible to spend between eight and ten hours a day (11 or 12 if we add transportation) suffering. The truth is that this paradigm that links work to sweat and suffering has changed radically, with the hand of the new generations.

The new paradigms are:

– personalization: I can not communicate the same to everyone and in the same way
– digital transformation: companies like Uber or Airbnb are worth millions without having a single car or own house
– transparency: it forces us to take care of what we do more than what we say

– ubiquity: now you work all the time, for example when replying a mail at 4 AM
– Immediacy: In a thousandth of a second Google posts 1 million results
– the interconnection: before having the information gave power, today gives the sharing
– well-being: through the multiplication of the supply of entertainment

Faced with this new landscape, work is no longer what it was. Young people are looking to have a good time there and if that is not possible, they simply leave. They no longer attract stability and money in the same way. Who says proudly today that he has been in a company for several decades?

Today, happiness in the workplace is the key and it has become a strategic slogan to attract and retain talent.

Happiness is, at work, intimately related to satisfaction. It is the difference between reality and expectations. But we no longer speak of objective reality but the reality of each one.

In surveys of the main reasons employees stay in a company, they usually appear above all the development and “work-life balance”.

But the truth is that it is increasingly diffuse to differentiate “work” from “life”. Today we respond to emails at any time and find solutions or new ideas at the least thought.

Therefore, more than talking about happiness at work, we should talk about happiness in full terms. And that integrality must be thought about taking into consideration the personal and the work.

What makes you feel good on a personal level? Be well physically, mentally, spiritually and socially. In the workplace, this well-being is achieved through training, recognition, development, benefits and organizational climate.

A planned program of activities that focus on those nine points, integrating personal and work life, will help to achieve happy people in the day to day.

Within the companies there are many concrete actions that can be developed: working breakfasts with members of different areas, meetings after office, sports events, family visits to offices, running teams, parties, activities with solidarity and many others .

Going back to the beginning, work is no longer associated with suffering, and new generations seek more and more to find well-being in it.

Understanding this need and understanding the employee as an integral being, will allow employees to be satisfied, reducing turnover and improving the quality of their services. Because, without a doubt, “happy people build successful teams”.

By Marcelo Gordín, director of Enfasis Motivation Company

Source: iProfesional 06/28/2017

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