Mt Druitt - St Mary's Standard (East) - - CAREER ONE - Laura Tri­este

IT WAS not long ago for many that the pur­suit of hap­pi­ness was some­thing that started ev­ery Fri­day af­ter clock­ing off from work.

To­day, the con­cept of work­place hap­pi­ness has be­come so pop­u­lar that it is now a ca­reer in it­self.

The Hap­pi­ness In­sti­tute’s chief hap­pi­ness of­fi­cer and psy­chol­o­gist Dr Ti­mothy Sharp works with busi­nesses to help up the joy lev­els.

“We act as con­sul­tants so we go in, as­sess their needs and of­fer coach­ing,” he said.

“There are some man­agers that think if peo­ple are hav­ing too much fun they will not work hard.

“But peo­ple are now see­ing it as a pow­er­ful busi­ness tool – you get bet­ter per­for­mance in ev­ery way.”

While it might sound like a Pollyanna prin­ci­ple, Dr Sharp said a hefty dose of re­al­ity is needed.

“It’s about en­sur­ing as many em­ploy­ees as pos­si­ble can find mean­ing in their work, it’s about phys­i­cal and men­tal well­be­ing and get­ting peo­ple to get on bet­ter,” he said.

Dr Sharp ex­plained that work­ing your dream job is not a re­quire­ment for this.

“There are peo­ple who are lucky enough to do what they love, but the re­al­ity is not ev­ery­one will be able to do that,” he said.

“That doesn’t mean that they can’t find ways to en­joy what they do.”

Dr Sharp said cre­at­ing a happy at­mos­phere starts with man­age­ment hav­ing a pos­i­tive fo­cus, show­ing grat­i­tude and mak­ing sure their em­ploy­ees feel val­ued.

“Look at how you can get peo­ple to use what they are best at rather than fix what they are worst at,” he said.

He said the trend of fun of­fices with perks like ping pong ta­bles and free food may help a bit, but not much.

“Peo­ple just get used to that stuff,” Dr Sharp said.

“It’s more about how man­agers treat their peo­ple.”


The Hap­pi­ness In­sti­tute’s chief hap­pi­ness of­fi­cer Dr Ti­mothy Sharp.

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