The Joy of Work?
Jobs, Happiness, and You
Published September 8th 2009 by Routledge – 200 pages
Are you happy at work? Or do you just grin and bear it? We spend an average of 25% of our lives at work, so it’s important to make the best of it.
The Joy of Work? looks at happiness and unhappiness from a fresh perspective. It draws on up-to-date research from around the world to present the causes and consequences of low job satisfaction and gives helpful suggestions and strategies for how to get more enjoyment from work. The book includes many interesting case studies about individual work situations, and features simple self-completion questionnaires and procedures to help increase your happiness. Practical suggestions cover how to improve a job without moving out of it, advice about changing jobs, as well as how to alter typical styles of thinking which affect your attitudes.
This book is unique. The subject is of major significance to virtually all adults - people in jobs and those who are hoping to get one. It is particularly distinctive in combining two areas that are usually looked at separately – self-help approaches to making yourself happy and issues within organizations that affect well-being.
The Joy of Work? has been written in a relaxed and readable style by an exceptional combination of authors: a highly-acclaimed professor of psychology and a widely published business journalist. Bringing together research from business and psychology – including positive psychology – this practical book will make a big difference to your happiness at work – and therefore to your whole life.
"The Joy of Work? is an excellent resource for both psychologists and the general public … [It is] easy to read, and it contains a number of easy-to-complete questionnaires that the reader can use to evaluate happiness, job characteristics, and other matters. … The material should be very informative and helpful for people who are mature and at midcareer or beyond." - Jay C. Thomas and Tamara E. Tasker in PsycCRITIQUES
"Warr and Clapperton successfully weave together the many and varied theories and approaches in this area to produce a guide which should be helpful for occupational psychologists, HR professionals and managers within organisations." – Emily Hutchinson, Chartered Occupational Psychologist, Consultant and Senior Lecturer, in The Psychologist
"I would recommend this book to everyone - employee and manager alike. It will be particularly useful to managers eager to avoid high levels of staff sickness and turnover, and who are looking to improve their staff appraisal forms and exit interviews." – Greta McGough, teacher, in Nursing Standard
"At a time when the attention of many is on the quantity of work, this book has a refreshing focus on its quality. The authors ask some fundamental and challenging questions about the role of work in providing us with meaning and as a source of happiness, and then make a thoughtful attempt to help the reader answer these questions. Although solidly informed by the growing body of research in this important area, the authors skilfully manage to make the book practical and accessible for those who want to understand both what can make a job a source of fulfilment and satisfaction and how they might take more control of their working lives." - Stephen Bevan, Managing Director, The Work Foundation
"The Joy of Work is a wonderful book. Drawing on important research findings from the fields of positive and work psychology, Peter Warr and Guy Clapperton show us what we can realistically do to improve our well-being at work. If you are wondering whether you should change jobs because you are unhappy, try the things in this book before you make up your mind." - Professor Alan Carr, author of Positive Psychology
"A remarkably easy and enjoyable read which will be appreciated by any ordinary, thinking person interested in their own happiness and that of others. Whether you are satisfied and happy at work or not, you will take something valuable from this book." - Michelle Bennett
1. Work and Happiness: An Unlikely Mix? 2. Why Work? 3. Feeling Good and Feeling Bad. 4. The Needed Nine Features. 5. What's in a Job? 1: Seeking a Happy Medium. 6. What’s in a Job? 2: When Enough is Enough. 7. It's in Your Genes as Well as Your Job. 8. Come to Think About It … Happiness is Relative. 9. Actions as Well as Words. 10. Worth a Try?
Peter Warr is Emeritus Professor at the Institute of Work Psychology at the University of Sheffield. Formerly Director of the Social and Applied Psychology Unit in that university (the world’s largest research institute in its field), he has undertaken research and consultancy in hundreds of organizations.
Guy Clapperton has been a freelance business, technology and media journalist for 15 years. In 2008 he became a BAFTA juror, and is published regularly in the Sunday Telegraph, Guardian, Times Independent and Financial Times. He also broadcasts on the BBC World Service and on BBC Radio London, and has edited a number of books on employment practices.