Are You Happy at Work?

There are few reasons to believe the average solicitor working in law is happy in their job. Recent Gallop data on employee engagement suggests that only 3 in 10 employees are happy in their jobs. Just try typing “My job is” into Google on your smart phone. What did you see? Chances are that the following appear at the top of the list “My job is boring” and “My job is making me sick”.

Conversations with employees often end up shifting from career success and productivity improvements to well-being and happiness. Yet generally speaking, employers are more concerned about productivity and performance than employee happiness. In fact, some research has shown that increased happiness does not translate into higher productivity or performance (https://www.gallup.com/workplace/236366/right-culture-not-employee-satisfaction.aspx).

Yet today, many employees believe that they deserve to be happy at work and if their job can’t make them happy they should switch employers or look at other options. There is huge pressure to find the “perfect job”. But trying harder to “be happy” at work often results in employees becoming less happy. In attempting to float, you often end up sinking. The more energy and focus you put into being happy at work, the less happy you will be.

It may in fact seem back-to-front, but employees that have a certain level of in-built dissatisfaction (unhappiness) tend to be the most productive. It is dissatisfaction that leads to a desire to change or invent new ways of doing things – which in turn results in more productive work processes and happiness. Perhaps it was someone who was unhappy with the slow speed of manually registering land transfer documents that led to Landonline, which ultimately made a lot of people happy and improved productivity.