The right balance between work and play will have a huge impact on the happiness level of professionals. Less satisfaction with work life can spill into home life and affect one’s family and social interactions. The opposite is also true. Those who are more satisfied with their work tend to develop more fulfilling family relationships and this often is possible if creativity and a sense of play is found in one’s occupation.
The right kind of work and play can direct happiness
How you look at work determines your level of happiness. Viewing work in a more playful way is considered one of the best ways to raise one’s level if enthusiasm for work, and this is often most easily done if a person gets to choose the type of work he or she does. This is because the more that work resembles play, the higher the desire to be good at it and the higher the enthusiasm to return to it day after day.
According to studies, those who viewed their work more playfully were able to do it with a higher level of enthusiasm. One study revealed that men regarded their out-of-home jobs as work and this resulted to a lower level of enthusiasm when it came to going to work, while women felt the opposite. Men viewed working out of the home as more of a burden and a responsibility while women viewed working out of the home as a liberating choice.
The opposite was seen when it came to housework, with men gaining more satisfaction when it came to doing house chores than women because society does not expect them to do housework, but they enjoy doing it anyway. This leads to the conclusion that if work is more of a choice than something that was forced upon someone, the greater the feeling of satisfaction that comes with doing it. This is the reason why schoolchildren also view schoolwork as work, because they feel like they have no choice but to go to school.
Having more creative control at work leads to increased happiness
Those who are able to make the majority of their decisions at work were found to gain more satisfaction. The less the person feels that he or she is just a cog in a machine, the more satisfaction she feels with the work she does. Occupational self direction is the term referred to the ability to be able to make most of the creative decisions in work and is as equally desired in blue collar jobs as in high profile occupations.
Significance of having a more self-directed job
Studies have shown that moving from a less self directed to a more self directed job causes positive changes in the individual. Those who moved to a more self-directed job became more flexible in their work, became more relaxed and laid back, became more democratic when it came to parenting and began to foster open creativity and autonomy in their children. There was an overall increase and more satisfaction with their home and working lives.