Happiness @ work!

Work happiness; a term that has been ‘trendy’ for a while, and many people are delving into it. Last week was even designated as the Week of Work Happiness! Research indicates that individuals who are happy in their work have more energy, perform better, and often have better relationships with their colleagues. Additionally, they feel more engaged and get more work done. But how do you ensure that your employees are happy, and what factors influence this? Especially in these times of COVID-19, where in many cases, employees are working remotely. This, of course, has a significant impact on work happiness.

Martin Seligman, the founder of positive psychology, distinguishes five factors that influence work happiness, encapsulated in the so-called PERMA model:

Positive Emotions

Engagement = Flow

Relations = connection

Meaning = significance

Accomplishment = challenge

The advantage of this model is that it focuses on factors that increase work happiness, rather than the traditional approach of focusing on factors that decrease work happiness. It zooms in on the positive aspects to explore how they can be enhanced. Below is an explanation of these five factors. It can be very interesting to examine how this applies to your company and where ‘positive’ gains can be made.

Positive emotions

Everyone experiences certain emotions during work. These can be positive emotions such as satisfaction, joy, and gratitude. On the other hand, there can also be emotions like frustration, anger, and dissatisfaction. As a leader, it can be helpful to gain more insight into this to see if you can assist your employees. Negative emotions are not only an energy drain for the employee but also for the environment. What does this employee need to experience more positive emotions? If the employee is dealing with many negative emotions, you can engage in a conversation to see if you can offer assistance. Additionally, you can explore when the employee does experience positive emotions. A coaching process might also be beneficial in such cases.


Ever experienced the feeling of being so engrossed in something that you suddenly lose track of time? When you’re in the moment, and the rest of the world seems to fade away? That’s being in a state of flow. You feel motivated and inspired to do your work, and it feels effortless. Employees who experience this flow tend to enjoy their work more and often perform better. The extent to which employees find their work meaningful also impacts how easily they enter a state of flow. Additionally, the nature of the tasks at hand plays a role in how much flow someone experiences. One person may love delving into files and working out all the details, while another may prefer coordinating and organizing tasks. If someone struggles to get into the flow, it’s also possible that the type of tasks may not be a good fit.


How employees experience their interactions with colleagues and their manager significantly influences the level of work happiness they feel. The team’s functioning also plays a role in this. Struggles in interpersonal relationships contribute to a decrease in the joy people derive from their work. Additionally, there is a natural human need to feel connected to others. A good connection with colleagues is crucial and determines how much enjoyment you bring to work. Team building is essential for this reason. It is advised not only to engage in activities such as dining out or an escape room but also to have a dialogue with the team about how the collaboration is going. This can enhance mutual trust within the team.


What meaning do you attribute to your work? What do you contribute, not only for yourself but also, for example, for society? For some professions, this is very clear, such as a police officer ensuring street safety or a healthcare worker caring for sick people. However, this clarity may not be present for all professions. It can be essential for an employee to contribute something meaningful to society. Are employees proud of what they do? Do they embody the company’s mission and core values? These are also determining factors in how much joy people derive from their work and how much energy they invest in it. This can be a valuable topic to discuss to assess its relevance within your company.


Every person has a fundamental need for growth. For some, this means taking steps and advancing to higher positions, while for others, it involves personal growth or becoming better at what they do. Additionally, consider how much control an employee has over their work. It is crucial, especially for those who have been in the same position for an extended period, to pay attention to this. Otherwise, there’s a risk of them going to work like a kind of robot, feeling less motivated. Often, small adjustments or providing opportunities for further education can bring a positive stimulus to this.

These five factors also mutually influence each other. Someone in a state of flow is likely to have better relationships with colleagues. Someone experiencing more challenges is likely to have more positive emotions at work. Carpe Vita has developed a tool to assess where a team or company scores well and where improvement is possible. Especially in these times of COVID-19, it is crucial to check whether employees are happy in their work and make adjustments as needed. Interested in this tool or other topics mentioned in this blog? Call Petra at (+17) 215 860 002 or send an email to petra@carpevita.sx.