Arbejdsglaede: Happiness at Work

June 5, 2013 in Uncategorized, Commentary

I’ve previously mentioned that Scandinavia has pioneered research about job-related stress. Now, we learn that Scandinavian countries — specifically, Norway, Sweden, and Denmark — are the only ones that have a word for “happiness at work.” The word is arbejdsglaede. And, no, that’s not a typo.

Below is a video about arbejdsglaede.

The video is oodles of fun, but I have one beef with it: It advances the conventional American notion that employers are not responsible for employee happiness, and that your happiness is entirely in your hands.

Certainly, you have some accountability for your own state-of-mind. But Scandinavian research has shown repeatedly that organizational structure and job design are the primary drivers of employee well-being. So go ahead and grab yourself some arbejdsglaede — happiness at work — if you can find it. But don’t be too hard on yourself if you can’t.