6 Ideas to Create More Happiness at Work

mind relationships work Jan 13, 2023

Why are only 13% of us fully engaged at work? 

Why does a Harvard Business Review tell us that 50% of employees trust a stranger more than their boss? 

What is the number one reason people leave their workplace? 

Compassion holds the key to creating more happiness at work. 

It's why billion-dollar companies like LinkedIn and Wholefoods place compassion at their core. 

It is also why the CompassionLab at the University of Michigan shows us that compassionate businesses report increased profits, productivity and engagement. 

Compassion is a human skill that will always be valuable, especially in the AI age. 

Here are six ideas to create more happiness at work, for you as a CEO and for the workers:

1. Don't Assume, Recognise

Look for the person behind the performance. 

A McKinsey study of over 200,000 people shows us that it's not pay, autonomy or working hours that cause people to leave their work. 

It's when they do not feel recognised. 

Compassion improves awareness of both joy and suffering. 

Take a moment this week to recognise someone at work. Recognise their success and check in with their emotional health. 

You never know what a difference that may make. 

2. Create a Compassionate DNA

To see significant changes in a company, research shows that change needs to happen at an organisational level. 

I remember when I was working in the NHS as a junior doctor, and the department attempted to make me work three weekends in a row without any days off. 

This included long 13-hour shifts. 

As there was little compassion for the staff, the compassion we could show our patients was limited. This was compounded by time pressures, schedules and constraints. 

Compassionate businesses look beyond protocols and have structures in place to value people. 

They understand that the way HR, leadership and managers behave sends ripples throughout organisations. 

It doesn't need to be complex. Creating a compassionate culture starts with taking a moment to pause, be aware and ask,

"How could I help?"

These mantras are for life, not just for business. As the Dalai Lama said,

"If you can, help others; if you cannot do that, at least do not harm them." 

3. Invest Your Time

If you are unhappy at work, it can be a sign that you are undervaluing yourself. 

The negative emotions you feel are messages from your subconscious. 

Invest time each week in your calendar to do what you LOVE. 

Set strong boundaries around this. Nothing is more important than you feeling good. Never sacrifice this.  

4. Invest Money

How much do you invest in your happiness? 

The Dalai Lama speaks about two forms of happiness. 

One is external and material. We will often spend our lives investing hundreds of thousands in our living space only to feel perpetually dissatisfied. 

The wise among us understand that happiness is an inner game, a state of mind. The more you invest in self-discovery, development and growth, the happier you become. 

Invest in books, seminars and coaching to become resilient to toxic environments and become, as Vishen Lakhiani would put it,  


5. Invest Energy

If you are unhappy at work, think about where you are investing your energy.

Take inventory and notice when you feel drained. Look at the activities and the intentions.

Often you will find a need to defend your opinions. Conflict and deliberating over decisions drain energy.

Invest your energy in self-compassion.

Choose acts of kindness - these are scientific ways to improve your happiness regardless of your work environment.

6. Take Action

Lastly, a difficult work environment is a call for you to take action. 

To decide whether you can tolerate it or whether it's time to be brave and resign. 

Is it time for you to let go and detach from the identity, status and perceived safety of your job?

Remember, your skills are always transferrable and nothing is worth sacrificing your physical, mental and spiritual health for

What's the use in that? 

You are here to express your true nature, not to live in the bondage of other people's expectations.

You deserve happiness and peace; everyone does.  


Enjoy these practices, and let me know how you get on with them. 


1 Quote

"If you can, help others; if you cannot do that, at least do not harm them." Dalai Lama

1 Question

"How could you cultivate more happiness outside of work?"

1 Quality


In workplaces where others are beaten down, be the light that illuminates their darkness.  

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