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Happiness at the workplace refers
to how satisfied people are with their work and lives. Employee wellbeing is linked
to the happiness of the employees. Employee wellbeing at the workplace is critical
for improving output in any organization. To increase productivity employee
wellbeing should be enhanced in organization.  Therefore, they should know what factors could affect employee satisfaction
in order to successfully improve happiness in organization. This paper presents a potential
conceptual framework of happiness at the workplace that could give valuable
contribution to future research in this area.

Keywords: happiness, subjective well-being, workplace.


People perform their work in
exchange for either monetary or non-monetary rewards (Stiglbauer &
Batinic, 2012). From human resource management (HRM) perspective, HRM practices
(e.g. downsizing, outsourcing) impact the nature and scope of work (Colakoglu,
Lepak, & Hong, 2006). Business restructuring which targets to reduce
the workers for improving organizational performance perhaps can make workers
feel disappointed with their jobs (Klhe, Zikic, Vian Vianen, & De Patr,
2011). Their job satisfaction has an influence on organizational ability to
achieve goals (Dlal, Baysingr, Brummel, & Lebreton, 2012). If they are
satisfied with work, their output would be improved (Barmeby, Bryson, &
Eberth, 2012 Moreover, maintaining happiness at the workplace can increase
employees’ output (Quick ; Quick, 2004). The term “happiness” has been
discussed by many researchers (Björke, 2012; Johnston, Luciano, Maggiori, Ruch,
& Rossier, 2013). It is related to an individual’s subjective well-being
(Angner, Hullett, & Allison, 2011; Jiang, Lieu, & Saato, 2012) or life
satisfaction (Van Prag, Romnov, & Ferer-i-Carbonel, 2010). Thus, happiness
at the workplace refers to an individual’s work and life satisfaction, or
subjective well-being at the workplace (Bhatacharje & Bhattacharje, 2010;
Carlton, 2009. Whereas cheerfulness at the place of work is essential to both workers
and the organization (Fisher, 2010; Simoons, 2014).

2. Conceptual Framework











in workplaces/organizations is formulated to be effective by some factors such
as employment status, income, friendship, and work activities. The affiliation
between independent and dependent variable is moderated by cultural/traditional

2.1 Employment Status

Employment status refers to an
employment-related circumstances in which an employee is being apprehended (Foorotan,
2011). Individuals’ happiness be contingent on their employment status (Frey
& Stutzer, 2000b; full-time or part-time employment (Berger, 2009)).
Employees generally seek for employment security (Silla, De Cuyper, Gracia,
Peiró, & De Witte, 2009). Unemployment status makes people unhappy
(Escott & Buckner, 2013). Their experience of unemployment or fear of
unemployment can decrease happiness (Ohtake, 2012). Principally, workers who
value family attachments may be unhappier with joblessness position if it
causes their family problems (Campbel, 2013).

2.2 Income

Income comprises the remuneration
and salary grossed by an individual (Maathur, 2012). A study on revenue and satisfaction
by Caprale, Georgelis, Tsitsinis and Yian (2009) approves that there is a
strong affiliation between a person’s revenue and life happiness. This is
because people who have higher revenue have more chances to buy desired goods
and amenities (Frey ; Stuzer, 2002; additionally, people relate their
own salary with others (Lembregts & Pandelaere, 2014; Oshioo & Kobyashi,

2.3 Friendship

Friendship is defined as a close
affiliation among friends (Huang, 2008). People express their relationship
through mood and activities (Huang, 2008; Spencir, 2012). Friendship at the
workplace refers to individuals’ relationship with their peers, subordinates,
and managers (Austin, 2009; Leei, 2005; Maio & Hseh, 2012). Friendship at
the workplace has a positive impact on organizational productivity and
employees’ work approaches towards their jobs (Soang, 2005). Friendship groups
are more committed to their work and lead to higher production (Dotan, 2007)

2.4 Work Activities

Work activities are the activities
or duties that are performed by workers (Siccama, 2006). Some workers are happy
with their work activities while some employees have harmful experiences at
work (Siegal & McDonald, 2004). They may happy to perform specific work
activities (Tadi? et al., 2013; Waryszak & King, 2001). Thus, supervisors
should know how to manage the meaning of work for employees (Cleavenger &
Munyon, 2013; Vasconclos, 2008). If workers observe significance of work, they
may be happy to do their service (Dimitrove, 2012; MacMilan, 2009).

2.5 Cultural Values

Traditional values are “faith
systems that a society is dedicated to and that are offered down from one
generation to the succeeding” (Hasan, 2011, p. 11). The study displays the mean
level variances of happiness across nations (Dounie et al., 2007). Similarly,
this paper supposed that the aforementioned factors (employment status, income,
friendship, and work activities) do not have the same effect to worker
happiness in different cultures. People from different cultures value different
things (Goos, 2012; Lee, Scandura & Sharif, 2014).


3. Discussion

Employees are happy when they are
understanding stable employment (Scherer, 2009). Permanent employees seem to be
more satisfied with their jobs than temporary employees (Ong & Shah, 2012;
Scherer, 2009). Sora, Cabaler and Piró (2010) maintain that part time employees
perceive a high level of job uncertainty. Unstable employment not only makes
employees feel hopeless but also affects the rate of employee revenue and workplace
performance (Dieke, 2011). This is because part time employees are further expected
to intend to leave their jobs than permanent workers (Soara eit al., 2010).
Employment can be considered as an important source of income (Zuvekas &
Hill, 2000). People who have better work status gain higher income (Shalay, Winraub,
Harman, & Tren, 2004). They may be happier than those who have lower
employment status and gain lower income (Caporale et al., 2009). Friendship at
the workplace facilitates the exchange of resources and ideas among employees
(Chang, 2013; Dee’Cruz & Nornha, 2011). It enhances employees’ approaches
towards work enactment (Lien, 2010). Thus, employees performing different work
levels could differ in happiness of friendship as well.

 4. Conclusion

In this paper, the affiliation
between independent variables and pleasure at the office is supposed to be
moderated by traditional values. Employee satisfaction may change in different
cultural backgrounds. Since the concept of happiness is crucial for
organizational performance and efficiency, HR managers need to design and
manage a workplace to enhance employee happiness (Gavin & Mason, 2004; Rego
& Cunha, 2008). Happy employees bring their cheerfulness from the workplace
to their family; likewise, they also handover their happiness from their home
to the organization (Asyabi & Mirabi, 2012). This suggests that there is a
possible close relationship between an individual’s life and work.

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