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Are we happier than we think?

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  1. Are we happier than we think? Guy Clapperton Co-author, “The Joy of Work?”

  2. Who am I • Freelance journalist, author, broadcaster • Author, “This Is Social Media” • Once wrote for “Spitting Image” • Then I get this email from this Emeritus Professor in Sheffield

  3. Who is Peter • Emeritus Professor, Dept of Work Psychology, Sheffield University • Distinguished academic and researcher • Author “Work, Happiness and Unhappiness”

  4. Bit of a culture clash, then… • Peter is the academic expert • My stuff is the anecdotal, chattier stuff

  5. Themes • Vitamins, ingredients analogies to happiness • Querying whether we are as unhappy in work as we think • Assumptions based on culture – toads, Bible, Bart, Dennis…

  6. Deconstruction • Unhelpful definition of ‘work’: something you have to do • Happiness: very little solid definition • Combination of the two is massively positive

  7. What is happiness? • Joy, exuberance, ecstacy • Peace, contentment, calm • Having a role/status, fitting in, feeling needed

  8. What is happiness not? • Money – the big red herring • Having a dull job in times of full employment • Having all your time to yourself – cp Freud’s Sunday neurosis

  9. So what do we mean by happiness?

  10. Happiness may be • Satisfaction • Security • Motivation • Equilibrium

  11. What’s needed? • Personal influence • Environment • Use of your abilities • Variety • …and the other 8 things in the book But….

  12. These variables are different for everyone • I’d hate to be Alan Sugar • He’d probably hate to be me • So test yourself! www.psypress.com/joyofwork/questionaires

  13. Misconceptions • Stress is bad • Burnout is an objective truth

  14. 9 job features you need • Influence • Using your abilities • Reachable goals • Variety • Clear requirements and outlook • Social contact • Money • Adequate physical setting • Recognition of a meaningful role

  15. Vitamin analogy • Overdose on some vitamins and you’re in trouble • They can be harmful rather than good • Remember Lord of the Flies!

  16. Genes and jobs • Matching the right job – or college! – to the right person is vital • Some, not all, of it is likely to be predetermined • And happiness is relative – remember the grass is always greener!

  17. Actions – can Cubo learn? • Vitamin analogy – is there something for students and study? • Our definition of “work” is certainly generic • Problem: no budget in many institutions.

  18. Since the book… • Big Society • Government happiness targets • Economic collapse continued

  19. Innovations • People actively showing off about applying different incentives • Social media – both good and bad (and has an effect on self-determination)

  20. Q&A and closing remarks Guy@Clapperton.co.uk