Article by Materahub – Photo by Jason Goodman

During the pandemic, workers understood that happiness is important and starts from self care during everyday life. Tips by Yale’s professor of happiness.

Before the pandemic of COVID-19, the working world was split in two: traditional companies with eight-hour work schedules and offices with single desks and workstations, coffee corner and maybe a few couches here and there. On the other side there were a few scattered companies suited to a smart kind of work, with employees in a blended mode and corporate spaces more like a relaxation and leisure space.

By early 2022, however, something is changing: we are beginning to understand how new ways of working and using spaces improve not only employees’ work performance, but also their own happiness. Being serene and free to decide how much and how to work, whether in the office or from home, in the company of colleagues or your family, at the beach or in the city, brings improvements in everyone’s private life.

According to an article in The New York Times, for many companies, particularly technology companies such as Google or Microsoft, gratification and fun at work do matter.

Laurie Santos, a cognitive scientist and professor of psychology at Yale University, runs the course ‘The Science of Well-Being’ available for free on the e-learning platform Coursera in which she invites her nearly four million subscribers to engage in a series of challenges designed to increase their happiness. While waiting for the companies where we all work to listen to the plight of employees, each of us can activate a few simple measures in our own workplace:

  • Take note of your strengths and measure your happiness level with the PERMA test;
  • Every evening, practice gratitude: write down five good things that happened to you during the day;
  • Dismantles cognitive bias, identifying the mechanisms behind the most common biases. Try to be sweet, kind and well-disposed toward humankind. Talk to a stranger;
  • Destroy cognitive bias with counteracting habits. Value practice, with at least seven hours of sleep and half an hour of exercise a day a minimum of three times a week;
  • Rediscover what really makes you feel good, considering that fulfillment comes not from the appreciation of others, but from the individual perception of performance. When we recognize that we have given our best, balancing skills and abilities, then we will be satisfied. The task is to meditate and write a letter of thanks to ourselves;
  • Make the wisdom of Gabriele Oettingen, author of Rethinking Positive Thinking: Inside the New Science of Motivation, your own with the self-help tool WOOP. Identify a wish (Wish), set a goal (Outcome), identify potential obstacles (Obstacle), make an action plan (Plan) contemplating an If-Then strategy;
  • Choose a sponsor, such as Alcoholics Anonymous: sharing your happiness project with someone will help you stay focused on your research;
  • After the various adjustments, take the Week 1 test again and check your happiness level.

And remember, everyone’s level of happiness depends on us and on our daily choices!