Workplace happiness has been declining for a decade – here’s how working from home could turn it around

Posted by for Life

It’s no secret that working from home brings its own set of challenges. But, with workplace happiness having been in sharp decline in recent years, it turns out it could offer us the best opportunity of turning things around. 

I think it’s fair to say that we all feel discouraged at work from time to time. But, far from a simple feeling of frustration, it turns out there has been a steady decline in workers’ overall happiness over the last ten years. Particularly for younger workers, everything from a lack of job security to the rising rate of employee turnover has caused a stark decline in peoples’ general satisfaction with their jobs.

According to Psychology Today, surveys of workers found that the drop has been most notable in the last three years, with happiness amongst workers declining almost 10 percent in that time, from 50 percent to 41 percent. 

Now, in the age of working from home, the workday brings with it new challenges, ranging from loneliness to an upset work-life balance. But still, it turns out that working from home could actually hold the answers to our workplace woes. 

This isn’t to say that working from home is automatically a positive thing. In fact, researchers at the Life Coach Directory have noted that there has been “a 74 percent increase in users searching for ‘confidence’, and a 62 percent increase in users looking for information on stress” since working from home became our new normal. To turn this around, you have to “take responsibility and take action, to change the negative aspects of work that are in your control”.

As Life Coach Directory member Michelle Thole explains, “happiness at work is personal, and different people need different approaches to their working day”. Working from home offers you the perfect opportunity to evaluate what about your approach to work makes you happy, and what you might need to change going forwards.

Maybe you like the increase in flexibility that comes with working from home, and maybe you don’t. Maybe you miss being able to deal with issues as they arise in person, or perhaps the extra time you get at home on either side of your working day affords you a balance that you hope to keep hold of. 

A woman working from home
Working from home: "happiness at work is personal, and different people need different approaches to their working day”.

Whatever the case may be, take note of what works for you, and make the most of it. And, if there’s anything you’re finding difficult, it’s important to be proactive and do what you can to make a positive change, either now or when restrictions start to ease and office life resumes once more.

As a useful starting point, Life Coach Directory member Rebecca Kirk has some helpful tips on finding the good within your working day, which will benefit you whether you’re finding working from home difficult, or simply want to reap the benefits of acknowledging the positive aspects of your job: 

  1. “Find a sense of purpose and fulfilment in what you do, and know that you are making a difference.”
  2. “Lockdown has highlighted the importance of social interactions, with many of my clients struggling with the isolation of working from home. So enjoy and make the most of the company and comradeship of your colleagues.”
  3. “Feel valued and appreciated by both the financial gains and any personal feedback you get.”
  4. “Have boundaries in place which allow for a healthy work-life balance.”
  5. “Feel connected to your employer by trying to understand their mission and their culture.” 

For more information on how to maintain a healthy work/life balance while working from home, you can check out our guide. 

Images: Getty

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