Happiness at Work


Arbejdsglaede is a Scandinavian word that means happiness at work.

Alexander Kjerulf recommends the following suggestions to help us perform at least one random act of kindness at work.

  • Bring someone a cup of coffee, without them asking
  • Leave a flower on someone’s desk
  • Leave a nice, hand-written note for a co-worker
  • Help someone carry their stuff
  • Pass out candy in the hallways

For bonus points, do a random act of kindness to total stranger on the way home from work.

What are the positive benefits of all this? Surely, the aim with working is to be productive and to earn money. Well, it seems like there are strong links between people being happy at work and productivity. Higher productively means more money, so bringing some happiness to the work place looks like a good idea.

The ways to achieve happiness may look different and different solutions may be required. A new group might need security for daring to get to know each other and help to move towards a common direction. An older group may have greater joy in experimenting in a playful way to develop and function better. Thus, ways of exploring feelings and emotions are necessary. Predicting trends is of always a risky business, yet, we predict that Red Hat thinking (emotions, feelings, intuitions, and hunches) will be provided with more attention. Just like values have been stressed by many companies during the last decades.Several methods have been designed to help companies search for values (go here to read  about the one method – the Six Value Medals). When we are thinking we deliver our values but our values are often vague and poorly defined. The same can be said about our emotions, feelings, intuitions, and hunches.

In the Six Hats Thinking framework, the focus on Red Hat thinking should last around 30 seconds and the feelings, hunches and emotions should be preferably described in a couple of words. This is to ensure that the expressed emotions and feelings are as raw as possible. There is no need to dwell into feelings and a person should not have to explain or explore the underlying feelings or emotions.

Many of us may believe that it is possible to clearly separate our  thinking and our emotions. The Six Hat method makes no claim to achieve a separation, rather optimising our attention and focus is what Parallel Thinking is all about. We will continue to explore this subject and provide some Thinkiblity Tips about how to use and explore Red Hat Thinking. For example using a dream scenario (utopia) and backwards thinking to explore feelings and thinking.

Photo: “Man Working On Laptop” by David Castillo Dominici

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