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What makes a happy workplace? Interview with the Happiness Research Institute

What makes a happy workplace? Interview with the Happiness Research Institute

by Talentese Team 06/06/2018

Happiness may seem too individual to be analyzed from a scientific perspective, though Happiness Research Institute employees believe that it is possible – having applied the modern research methods, they have really approached to the answer to the question “What makes a happy workplace?” and come to a better understanding of certain factors that make us happy with our jobs.


So, how does the research of happiness look like? Some answers are in the interview with Isabella Arendt, Executive PA to the CEO at Happiness Research Institute.


– What is exactly the Happiness Research Institute?

We are a private institute founded in 2013 and with currently six people working here. We have people from many different fields of study in order to understand happiness from different perspectives.

Building on measurement guidelines and benchmarks from the OECD and UN, we combine qualitative and quantitative methods to provide insights on the level of well-being, happiness and quality of life.What we care about is how people feel about their life. We believe people themselves are the best judge of whether they are happy or not. Working with subjective measures is difficult, but it is not impossible. We do it all the time, when it comes to stress, anxiety and depression – which are also subjective phenomenons – at the end of the day, it is all about how we as individuals experience our lives. What we ideally do is we follow people over time, and see how changes in life circumstances impact the different dimensions of happiness.




– Why have you decided to create your company?

Our founder and CEO Meik Wiking was curious about happiness and why some countries were happier than others. He wanted to understand more of this and thus founded this institute.


– What are your 3 top wishes for your company within the next 5 years?

We hope of course for more awareness of the happiness agenda. And for decision makers to implement the happiness research in the decision making process.


– What are from your experience the most important factors to be happy at work?

We have done a study in a Danish context about job satisfaction which you can find at our website. The most important factors are meaning, leadership and mastery. We found another four factors, which were important to the Danes, but I will suggest you to read this in the report.



Job Satisfaction Index, 2016


– What makes a good company – the one where employees are happy?

We found that listening to the needs of the workers are important and to understand that people are different and should be treated different. We are motivated by different things and work in different ways. The good employer will make room for those differences and make it an advantage rather than something that needs to be corrected.



– Money, power, teamwork, achievement… are those keys to be happy at work?

The short answer is no. Meaning and a good work-life balance is more important than all those things. But the report will give you more information about this: “According to the Job Satisfaction Index 2016, the recipe for higher motivation is to be found in meaningful work, work-life balance, confidence in one’s skills, and the experience of results. This is important to have in mind if a leader or a workplace wishes to step up motivation among employees.Purpose and mastering each explain 25 percent of motivation, while balance explains 20 percent. But purpose and motivation have the closest relationship, which means how motivated we feel about our work tasks has to do with how much meaning we feel towards our work”.


by Talentese Team 06/06/2018

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