The irony of this year’s happiness at work week – what’s the truth for you, your organisation and your teams?

Oct 28, 2020

The end of September marked the International Week of Happiness at Work – a concept that is important to us at Perfect Teams, not just for one week but for all year round. As we have highlighted in previous articles, this year has been a challenging one for teams. From the conversations that our team have been having then, we believe that this year’s happiness at work week is an ironic one. In this article we will outline what happiness at work actually means to us, how your organisation can ensure it exists all year round – not just for one week a year – and why we feel that happiness at work in 2020 is an ironic statement for many.


It stands to reason that if you build the perfect teams within your organisation, not only does it mean that your organisation benefits, but it also means that the members of your teams are satisfied that their work is aligned with their purpose.

We believe that happiness at work means different things to different people. It depends on a person’s motives and purpose- and both of these need to be satisfied. People that aren’t fulfilling their purpose or who don’t know their purpose normally get frustrated with their work.

How can you ensure happiness at work exists all year round?

In our experience, for organisations and their teams to be truly happy at work all year round, they need to have a strategy for building and sustaining a cultural program, and that begins with having the right leadership.

Importantly, as David Bellamy explains here, great culture starts with understanding. The three questions he outlines towards the end of the article are vital for this.

Happiness at work in the context of 2020

This year has thrown a number of curveballs at organisations and the global economy. Working from home has tested team dynamics and highlighted important factors within team structures such as the importance of employee engagement.

This is something Ken Blanchard and his team have looked at for many years- including this piece of research from 2015 which looks at employee passion.


We believe the irony is two-fold. Below we have explained each in turn, and given our insights into how these can be identified and resolved.

1) The tough backdrop that is 2020:

We’ve remarked earlier in this article that this year has presented challenges to organisations and their teams. Fractured teams and inter-personal relationship issues have arisen among many teams, and in others these issues have increased in frequency, which has highlighted the importance of dealing with them.

As we outlined in an article we wrote in August, these issues have occurred because not everyone is happy working from home. Looking at our Perfect Teams model of 12 distinct characters, which are based on three core ways of processing information, we can see that those who have had the most adverse reaction to working from home are the red/feel characters. Understanding their qualities and traits, and how they apply to your team, is one of the keys to happiness at work, because each member of the team will be aware of how they should interact with one another, and you will be able to plug the character gaps that exist within your team.

2) People are reflecting on whether they are actually happy:

Times of crisis and challenge tend to reveal the most committed people. Millions of our workforce have been placed on furlough since the pandemic began, with redundancies being announced almost weekly now- and this is likely to be just the beginning.

From the conversations we are having, many people are now beginning to reflect on whether they are actually happy in their present role or if they want to look for another role in their industry post-redundancy.

During a recent training session, one of our newest licensees remarked that he, and many of his former C-suite peers, seem to have become addicted to the salary they had become accustomed to. He said that after redundancy many, himself included, had either lost their mojo or started to re-evaluate themselves, which allowed them to get in touch with what’s important to them.

While there is some irony to the idea of happiness at work this year, it is still possible, and does exist within many organisations. One of the most important factors for happiness at work is your team dynamic, and building a perfect team enables that dynamic, and therefore your organisation, to flourish.

Nobody is perfect, but your team can be. Individually we all have strengths and weaknesses, and understanding these is important. When we speak to business owners and leaders looking to understand what’s going on with their teams, they actually want to make a difference and plug the gaps where possible. They want to build perfect teams.

To find out how we can help your organisation build the perfect team, please click here and get in touch.

Article by:

Neil Tuson

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