Is Being Positive in the Workplace so Useful?

Firms spend money on happiness coaches, team building, games, fun consultants and happiness directors. These jobs and positions may sound funny or even bizarre, but companies take them extremely seriously. Yes, it’s scientifically proven that happy employees are less likely to quit, are more likely to delight customers, are healthier, and are more likely to step out of line.

A Focus on Happiness Makes us Less Happy

Happiness can be exhausting. Its pursuit may not be successful. But it’s not scary, is it? Scary. Since the XVIII century, people have noted that the desire to be happy has become a heavy burden, an obligation that cannot be fulfilled.

Cheerful Does Not Mean Efficient

It makes sense to radiate positive energy when you communicate directly with customers. But today, many employees who do not interact directly with customers are also made to “glow with happiness.” This can lead to unexpected consequences.

Waiting For Happiness Can Destroy a Career

If we believe that we will find happiness at work, in some cases we may begin to treat the manager as a simplified version of the parent. In her research on the media, Suzanne Eckmann found that employees who believed their work would make them happy often became “emotionally hungry.”

They wanted managers to constantly praise and support them. When these employees did not receive the expected emotional boost, they were offended and hog the cover. So expecting your boss to make you happy makes us emotionally vulnerable in many ways.

Being Too Positive at Work Hurts Your Personal Life

In her book Cold Intimacies, sociology professor Eva Illouz says that wanting to live a more emotional life at work negatively affects relationships with loved ones. Personal relationships are perceived as a project to be managed with corporate tools and techniques. As a result, family life becomes incredibly cold and cheeseparing.

Happy People Are More Selfish

Research participants were given lottery tickets and asked how much they would like to give to others and how much they would keep for themselves. People in a good mood took more tickets for themselves. This suggests that, at least in some circumstances, happiness does not always mean generosity.

The Pursuit of Happiness Leads to Loneliness 

In one experiment, psychologists asked people to keep a detailed diary for two weeks. At the end of the study, the researchers realized that people who valued happiness highly felt lonelier than people who rated it less. Obviously, the relentless pursuit of happiness makes us feel isolated.

Corporations need to rethink the belief that work should always make employees happy. In reality, work, like other aspects of life, evokes a wide range of feelings. Of course, happiness is a tremendous feeling, but it cannot be demanded or obtained with the wave of a magic wand.