A recent research study revealed something that actually seems pretty common sense:

  • People who don’t like their jobs feel really happy when the weekend rolls around.
  • People who do like their jobs don’t feel as excited about the weekend. In fact, thinking about the weekend might not increase their level of happiness at all because they’re already happy and satisfied.

And that makes sense. If you enjoy what you do during the week and you’re happy at work, the weekend becomes less important.

But here’s the part that’s more surprising. You would expect that the prospect of getting to spend time with family and friends over the weekend would make you feel happy and excited. And to a certain extent, it does – but not that much. Researchers found that people who had plans to spend time with loved ones did feel a little more happy and excited about their weekends than people who didn’t have similar plans. But still, the factor that had the most significant impact on peoples’ level of weekend excitement was how they felt about their jobs. That’s how important our work is to us, and that’s how powerful an effect it has.

So what makes people happy at work? Research suggests that two things are vitally important:

  • Working in an open and trusting environment
  • Having a boss who is supportive and feels like a partner

So leaders, take note! Workplace happiness is important. It has a powerful impact on employees’ lives – and not just while they’re at work. So pay attention to the mood around your office. And if it seems like morale is low, try to take steps to improve it. You can make your employees more happy and satisfied by helping to create a work environment that’s open, safe, and supportive.


McGregor, J. (2015, July 24). How our workplace environment affects our weekend mood. The Washington Post. Retrieved from: https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/on-leadership/wp/2015/07/24/how-our-workplace-environment-affects-our-weekend-mood/