At the Intersection of Happiness and Contentment at Work

Authored by: Babar Dharani

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:


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Cognitive and affective appraisals of life or work do not always parallel. Contentment, a more stable form of happiness, rests partially in cognitive assessment of one’s life or work. Happiness, being a multi-faceted concept, embraces various constructs ranging from satisfaction to those of high arousal, largely leaning towards an affective assessment of one’s life or work, which is much more mysterious. At the intersect of contentment and happiness at work, one’s assessment of one’s work shifts from cognitive to an assessment more embedded in affect. This shift changes the longevity of the positive emotions experienced, their level of stability, our abilities to manipulate them, and, arguably what may be most important, the intensity of the pleasure experienced and the level of arousal. Though contentment forms an important part of happiness at work, it singlehandedly can fail to conclude a self-assessment of being happy at work. Operating alone, it may not provide affective arousal at work experienced as high engagement levels through vigor, absorption, or flow at work. This chapter focuses on this intersect, highlighting enablers that can allow for the leap from mere contentment to full-bodied happiness at work, also examining the stumbling blocks that may hinder such a transition.

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