Written by Ralitsa Golemanova We’re all very busy talking about how to get more productive. We’ve become very innovative when it comes to hacking our routines and optimizing the time we have in our days. So today we’re not ashamed to do crazy things just to get more done in less time.
But we tend to forget that, ultimately, what makes us truly productive and fulfilled in our work is the motivation that pushes us forward - the happiness that we get from doing what we do. Without that tiny speck of magic, it’s difficult to make a real difference in your own and other people’s lives.
So let’s learn some Danish
For many people in the West, working has turned into a legitimate way to spend eight miserable hours per day, waiting for the salary at the end of the month in order to do “something fun.”
Even if the situation is not that dramatic, many find their jobs meaningless or feel dissatisfied with the atmosphere or attitudes at work. The gap between one’s job and its purpose is growing wider - and it’s only aggravated in a world where people rarely see the product of their everyday efforts.
As a Danish-Bulgarian startup, here at Swipes we are inherently connected with Scandinavian culture. So we’d like to teach you a very important word in Danish: arbejdsglaede.
Its literal translation is “ work joy ”, and it holds great potential to change the way people think about their jobs.
Yes, Scandinavia is a curious place with sometimes joyfully bizarre people, and this word might seem as yet another paradox coming from that place. But for Danes working is supposed to bring joy. Like, for real.
The most powerful productivity boost
As Alexander Kjerulf, founder and chief happiness officer of Woohoo Inc, says, there isn’t a better productivity booster than happiness. Finding meaning and satisfaction in their jobs does miracles for people’s ability to concentrate, prioritize and complete work - while really giving their best in it.
Receiving a fair remuneration and having extra benefits matter greatly in our choice of work, but in our day-to-day lives we need to feel that our actual input is meaningful in order to be truly connected with it. Whether we realize it or not, this impacts our motivation and fulfillment. Feeling a part of the team is another factor because it gives us a sense of belonging and common purpose. Close-knit teams perform better - while having a good time together.
If the job is a good fit for us, such factors contribute to our satisfaction with what we do, which means we are happier. This makes us healthier and generally better off - and makes us friendlier and more pleasant with the people around us. A happy face on Monday morning does miracles. ;)
Ultimately, a positive disposition at work also helps us to be good at what we do - and surely makes us more creative and productive. When we feel we belong and can make a real difference in a work setting, we can be more optimistic and set on solving problems, instead of creating them. Simply put, our motivation is stronger, which makes many doors open naturally.
Starting the work joy journey
Here at Swipes, we can’t help but be truly fond of arbejdsglaede. We’ve long realized the importance of finding meaning in what you do and getting fulfillment from it. So we’re making little steps every day to make sure we are all on board.
There is no secret potion that can make a team filled with work joy. Yet there are certainly useful steps that companies can take to start walking in the right direction in order to boost people’s satisfaction with their work. Remember, this naturally increases their productivity, which directly translates into higher profitability. It’s a win-win for all.
We, for example, are practising three things that vastly contribute to the joy at work:
- Purposefulness - ensuring that people know how their work fits in the big picture and how everybody on the team is interdependent;
- Connectivity - enhancing the team spirit and making sure people can easily approach each other and collaborate. The closer the bonds between people are, the smoother the projects would get completed;
- Appreciation - showcasing people's work and appreciating them for their achievements.
Creating this basis for a happy workplace is essential for work joy. And the Danes have nailed it, so why not try to put in action these tried-and-true concepts around the world?
How important is work joy for your company?
What are the best ways you know to improve work satisfaction?
We'd love to exchange ideas in the comments below.