Unhappiness Epidemic At Work

The Economist writes this week in Hating What You Do about the epidemic of unhappiness at work. It claims “the most obvious reason for the rise in unhappiness is the recession, which is destroying jobs at a startling rate and spreading anxiety throughout the workforce. But the recession is also highlighting longer-term problems.”

We find the analysis superficial and narrow minded. The recession is a big trigger for anxiety but not the cause for unhappiness. Unhappiness is an expression of multiple factors and currents in the lives of people. These include:

  1. Loss of the sense of control
  2. Unpreparedness to adjust one’s expectations
  3. Inability to cope with change and adapt through transitions
  4. A sense of disenfranchisement, isolation and lack of support
  5. Energetic depletion
  6. Chemical imbalance
  7. Loneliness, alienation and missing companionship and intimacy
  8. Inability to connect with and impact your environment (work, social, culture…)
  9. Loss of autonomy and the sense of dignity
  10. Spiritual deprivation and hunger for meaning and significance

Happy teams and happy organizations are able to integrate and foster the five Ps. In addition to Profit they benefit and help: People, Planet, Progress and Purpose.

© Aviv Shahar

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