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The Four Pillars of Workplace Happiness

Purpose, Engagement, Resilience, and Kindness.

According to a study from the University of Berkley, California, “Happier employees do better on all fronts, from day-to-day to productivity to career advancement, and this consistently perks up the bottom like for the organization as a whole.”

Wow, happy employees are more productive, which makes a company more money. Who would’ve thought? Sarcasm aside, while it is pretty obvious that more happiness makes a better workplace, “happiness” is kind of a nebulous concept by itself. Happiness at home, for example, wouldn’t be quite the same thing as happiness at work. Happiness at home usually involves blanket cocoons and Netflix, something you’re not going to get at any workplace. So what exactly quantifies happiness in a workplace setting? According to The Greater Good Science Center at Berkley, you need four specific qualities: Purpose, Engagement, Resilience, and Kindness. Or, if you’re a fan of acronyms, “PERK.”

Purpose: Something to believe in, to trust. If you don’t have any stake in your company’s message and actions, you’re not going to put your all into working for them.

Engagement: Levity in the office. If your nose is to the grindstone 24/7, you’re going to burn out. Little moments of fun and camaraderie in the office, like celebrations, sharing funny stuff, or just talking at the water cooler, can make work seem like much less of a slog.

Resilience: Strength against setbacks. Even if you have the best workplace in the world, things are going to get stressful and tense sometimes. You’ve got to train yourself to endure these times with the belief that they will pass.

Kindness: Positive inter-office relationships. You don’t have to be bosom buddies with all of your coworkers, but you can still be friendly. Offer compliments, lend a sympathetic ear, and give praise when it is warranted. Kindness will reward kindness in turn.

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