The Interactive Nature of Happiness at Work

What People Say About Work When They Talk About Life

Authored by: Ivo Ponocny

The Routledge Companion to Happiness at Work

Print publication date:  October  2020
Online publication date:  October  2020

Print ISBN: 9780367266554
eBook ISBN: 9780429294426
Adobe ISBN:


 Download Chapter



This chapter provides insight into the relationships between happiness at work and life in general from a phenomenological point of view. Stemming from an Austrian study about living conditions, 497 semi-structured interviews about the quality of (the whole) life were evaluated regarding work-related statements. The extracted examples show a wide variety of work experiences with respect to happiness, dependent on the actual conditions. According to the interviews, work generates positive emotion and self-actualization as well as burden and grief, deeply influencing the global well-being of the affected participants. Without any prompt to speak about work, many narratives contain passages about social relations at the workplace, whereby colleagues, clients, and customers were predominantly described as positive factors, but the majority of supervisors as detrimental for happiness. A wide-spread problem concerns recognition by others, which is rated insufficient by a considerable share of responses. In general, the interplay between different factors is complex, whereby the quality of social interactions appears to be a crucial moderator. As a conclusion, positive communication patterns at the workplace are of paramount importance on all hierarchical levels, but do not seem to receive the attention they deserve. Appropriate initiatives and trainings are recommended.

Search for more...
Back to top

Use of cookies on this website

We are using cookies to provide statistics that help us give you the best experience of our site. You can find out more in our Privacy Policy. By continuing to use the site you are agreeing to our use of cookies.