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September20–25

International Week of Happiness at Work – September 20-25, 2023

International Week of Happiness at Work is held from September 20 to 25 every year. This public domain initiative raises awareness of several actions to help improve employee happiness at work. These actions help employees feel happier at their place of work and, as a result, have positive effects on their health, well-being, and productivity. No doubt that happiness is the key to success in life. Emotions are part of the human mind and what we experience daily, and they influence our behavior as much as they affect other people. Research has shown that positive emotions promote creativity, well-being, bonding, and physical health.

History of International Week of Happiness at Work

Employee satisfaction is an essential factor in a company’s performance and productivity. Happy employees make for more productive workplaces. A satisfied employee will think positively about the business, work harder, and contribute to the firm’s overall goals.

Back in the 1960s, when a select group of economists and psychologists began advocating for a more holistic approach to productivity in the workplace, these researchers believed that traditional models of work were failing to capture how human beings operate and actively stifled them.

In 1969, Arthur Janov published ‘The Primal Scream’, an influential book about mental health that included an appendix about ‘Primal Therapy Groups’ for businesses. It was one of the earliest known applications of psychology in a professional setting.

Abraham Maslow published ‘Motivation and Personality’ in 1977, which explored the concept of self-actualization in workers and how it could be attained through fulfilling needs at various stages of his ‘Hierarchy of Needs’ concept. Maartje Wolff and Fennande van der Meulen, two Dutch women, started the International Week of Happiness at Work in 2017. They are the founders of Happy Office, which introduces a program that allows you to incorporate happiness into the workplace to have happier employees.

International Week of Happiness at Work timeline

1960s
The Holistic Approach to Productivity at Work

Researchers find that traditional models of work fail to capture human expression.

1954
The Self-Actualization of Workers

Abraham Maslow publishes “Motivation and Personality,” exploring self-actualization in workers.

1970
The Applications of Psychology in the Workplace

Arthur Janov publishes “The Primal Scream,” a book on primal therapy groups for businesses.

2017
The Introduction of a Happiness Holiday

Maartje Wolff and Fennande van der Meulen, start the International Week of Happiness at Work.

International Week of Happiness at Work FAQs

How do you define happiness at work?

It has to do with how well an employee likes the job and how proud they are of their work.

What is a positive attitude at work?

When people are positive, they keep trying new things, feel brave about brainstorming new ideas, and stay excited about going to work.

How do you describe work attitude?

This is tied to job satisfaction and organizational commitment. Of the two, job satisfaction is more important in predicting how committed employees are to their organizations.

International Week of Happiness at Work Activities

  1. Plan a group activity outside of work

    If there isn’t an office bowling league already, why not start one? You could also check out local restaurants or live music venues for other opportunities to do something fun together or even an office-wide dance party!

  2. Bring snacks to share with your co-workers

    When we are hungry, our moods are not the best. Instead of having an “empty stomach” day at work, why not bring in some healthy snacks to share? It will help you feel energized and upbeat throughout the day — and it will be a pleasant surprise for your co-workers, too!

  3. Play a game together during break time

    Get competitive by organizing a games event. Set up a table with board games and card games so that people can play casually throughout the day.

5 Facts You Want To Know About Work

  1. We spend huge amounts of time working

    The average person will work 100,000 hours over their lifetime, half the time they’re awake!

  2. Americans are not fond of their jobs

    A Gallup Poll found that only 13% of workers in the U.S. are happy in their jobs.

  3. People want to spend time with pets

    About 40% of employees said they would take a pay cut if they could bring their dog to work every day.

  4. Office cleanliness is important to workers

    The majority of employees will notice the cleanliness and organization of their workspace.

  5. Americans are bad at taking breaks

    They skip vacation time or take less time off than they are entitled to so they avoid being slackers.

Why We Love International Week of Happiness at Work

  1. Reminder to live happier lives

    It is meant to serve as a reminder to live happier lives and be more positive. Happiness at work helps us do better work and feel good about our jobs, and that's why we should all be trying to create happier workplaces."

  2. It gives us a chance to focus on the human side of work

    It is an opportunity to think about how we respond to the challenges that lie ahead. It causes us to find ways to positively shape our working environment so we can thrive and grow.

  3. It gives a chance to share

    It is also important because it gives people and organizations a chance to share their own stories and experiences of creating a happy workplace. We all must support each other in our joint mission to help more people find happiness at work.

International Week of Happiness at Work dates

YearDateDay
2023September 20Wednesday
2024September 20Friday
2025September 20Saturday
2026September 20Sunday
2027September 20Monday

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