Three Workplace Happiness Myths

A higher salary, more holidays, and a promotion - if you were given these three things overnight, how would you feel?

Most people would probably feel overjoyed, excited and satisfied. An article from The Guardian suggests that these changes may not bring you the happiness you think they will.  

1. Higher Salary

Our salaries make us happier in relation to what others in similar roles are making. There is also research to suggest that happiness related to salaries plateaus after we start making around $70,000.00 (CAD) each year, as this salary allows most of us to live comfortably and feel supported.  

2. More Paid Holidays

More holidays may provide more happiness at work if you don't like your job. If you enjoy your job, this article suggests that more time off may not make a difference. We will also quickly habituate to the time off we are given, so an increase will improve happiness for a short time, until we feel we deserve more.

3. Promotions

A promotion or a new role may spike happiness at first, but it will then decrease and plateau based on new responsibilities and obligations. 

So What does make us happy?

If the three main perceived happiness boosters actually may not work, what can we do to increase happiness at work? Psychologist Sonja Lyubomirsky suggests that striving towards career goals is a more long-term and permanent way to increase happiness at work. The effort put into working towards a goal brings us more happiness than tangible things like increased salary and promotions. 

Another element in improving workplace happiness is developing positive relationships with your co-workers. Having a few colleagues you consider friends can make a world of difference in your satisfaction at work.

Is this research surprising to you? Do you agree or disagree with these points? Let us know in the comments below! 


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