With the holidays just around the corner, we would like to rejoice you with this Christmas edition of our newsletter.

Even though we are not going to celebrate the holidays the way we want. Christmas is a time of warmth, gratitude and connection. And may those be elements that also contribute to your happiness.With the project partners, we are already grateful that we have shown our resilience and adaptability in these times. Indeed, we have succeeded in achieving the following results in recent months:

  • In each partner country, we have organised focus groups and interviews to see how managers and employees feel about happiness at work and what they need to achieve happiness. The results have been incorporated into 5 national reports and 1 comparative report. We have used these results to develop the questionnaires and we will continue to use that input to further shape the blended learning trajectory.

The conclusions state that the most important topics contributing to happiness are:

We also have developed and tested 2 questionnaires:

  • A questionnaire for both employees and managers to assess their happiness at work
  • A questionnaire for executives to assess what they do to achieve happiness at work.

Finally, we would like to challenge you to ‘Niksen in the coming weeks.
After all, ‘Niksen’ also contributes to your happiness.

Reflection of Niksen

There’s a new trend in town: the Dutch concept of niksen, doing nothing. It means to do something without thought, purpose or any particular outcome in mind. It is founded on being idle, potentially anathema to our action-oriented, outcome-measuring society. Psychologists believe it can be restorative, protect against burn-out and contribute to the reduction of stress. It’s about just finding time to be. Niksen is different for everyone.
Sometimes semi-automatic activity might feel like niksen: knitting or crochet work, basically an activity that has been learned but which requires no thought to perform.There are benefits to slowing down, taking a few moments to free-oneself from the tyranny of the ‘to do’ list, especially in current times when people are juggling work, home, finances, children and perhaps home-schooling. We all need to restore balance, have self-compassion and time for ourselves.

This exercise will help you reflect and think back upon the last seven days.
When did you just do nothing?
When were you idle or lazy?
Make some notes here.


Review your table. What does it tell you? Are you good at niksen? Do you need more down-time in your life? Are you an action fiend in the week and just giving yourself permission to relax at week- ends?  Do you need to say ‘no’ more frequently to others?After this reflection, we’d normally ask you to do an action plan, but ironically that would be against the spirit of niksen. Reflect for a while and muse over what you don’t need to do. Hope to do less in the coming days and enjoy your niksen next week.