And guess what it’s not really about MONEY.
So a few weeks ago I was laid off and I’ve been working hard to get my online business up and running so we can maintain our current lifestyle without me having to go back to work full-time for someone else. You know the saying that everything happens for a reason, right. Well I find it a little ironic that after my layoff both Oprah at the Nat Burgess show run episodes on work/life, happiness and following your passions. It’s like they are telling me to move forward.
One of Oprah’s guest speakers was researcher and author Dan Buettner and he shared some really great information on happiness in the workplace and tips on how we can be happier at work.
One that really hits home for us in LA is that we should avoid long commutes. Buettner discovered that an employee would need a 40% increase in wages in order to be happy about their one-hour commute or to be just as happy as someone that could walk to the very same job. This statistics hits home being that I actually took a pay cut to commute an hour to a job, my previous job was less than 15 minutes from my home. Maybe that’s why I was so cranky (lol).
Another thing he mentioned is that the average American doesn’t take their well earned two weeks of vacation. He suggests splitting your vacation time 4 ways – you will have more pleasure in planning and vacation 4 times a year than just one. However, asking for your earned time-off can be hard and some bosses don’t make it easy. You did earn it and you will come back more focused upon your return. This is also true for the self-employed – be sure to take some time off for yourself.
Here’s an interesting one, Buettner suggests that you can double your happiness by simply attending a group function once a month with friends and peers. Socializing is a key aspect of happiness. Comparing my two most recent jobs I totally agree. In one job we had low cubicles and would have conversations throughout the day, the department was small enough we normally just communicated in-person instead of email and often went to lunch as a group. But at another job we had high cubicles and could often go an entire week without having to talk to anyone. Everything was done via conference call, email or IM. I was much happier in the first situation then the later.
To read more about Buettner’s book check it out on amazon.com Thrive: Finding Happiness the Blue Zones Way