Today, I want to write about a challenge that I encountered a couple of months ago. And in the current situation, I am sure I am not the only one who has been, or still is, struggling with this. I am talking about the difficulty of motivating yourself when working from home.
The working population's mental health has recently been in the headlines in Finland. Big national media outlets such as Yle News and Helsingin Sanomat have reported on increased burnouts among the Finns and the most recent statistics by Kela (the Finnish Social Insurance Institution) show that mental health issues have become the most common reason for sick leaves.
Happiness at work is trendy right now. It is trendy to post images from an office with bean bag chairs and a pool table. It is trendy to share the pictures from a company holiday party or a lunch with the team. It is trendy to tell everyone on LinkedIn how much you care about your employees, their happiness, growth, and work-life balance.
Since we spend most of our waking hours at work, how we feel during that time really has an impact on our overall well-being. Our professional and personal lives are not separate from each other and we cannot switch our mood like a light switch. If we are miserable for 8+ hours every day, chances are we feel drained and down in our free time, as well.
As you may have noticed, The Happy Works blog has been quiet for over a month. Don't worry, we are still here - we've just been spending more time on the beach than inside the house with the laptop. I bet many of you took some well-deserved time off, too, and getting back to your routines after a vacation can feel hard! Check out my top 3 tips to get back to the grind after a holiday.
This morning, I attended a Hacking Happiness session organized by the OpenIDEO Barcelona Chapter. OpenIDEO is IDEO's platform for open innovation. Their goal is to solve complex challenges in society by using design thinking as a tool. Design thinking allows practically anyone to find innovative solutions to problems in a human-centered, yet feasible and viable, way (IDEO).
In today's job market, changing jobs periodically is a rule rather than an exception. In fact, the rough estimate is that we change jobs 10-15 times during our professional careers. Long gone are the days when you would graduate from college, settle in a stable job, and retire decades later from the same company.
Several companies offer their employees something labeled as "team building activities", just look at almost any job advertisement or any company's social media feeds. These activities can vary from meals to happy hours to sports activities where the team spends time together outside of the workplace. After the event, the company posts pictures on their social media accounts to show others how much fun their employees have together, in hopes of attracting potential new talent.