Friday, January 12, 2007


Is The Happy Fool Today's Ideal Worker?

A frothy little squib from the BBC News asserts that "happiness" - not money or a lofty career trajectory - is what keeps workers working and, dare we say it, "happy". The article at the link below begins its saga of corporate happiness at Fruit Towers, the London headquarters of a manufacturer of smoothies called Innocent Drinks. It goes on to cite Google as well, along with Ben and Jerry's and Starbucks, as corporations that actively promote worker "happiness". The top 10 factors that keep workers happy are as follows:

1) Friendly supportive colleagues
2) Enjoyable work
3) Good boss or manager
4) Good work/life balance
5) Varied work
6) Doing something worthwhile
7) Making a difference
8) Being part of a successful team
9) Recognition of one's achievements
10) A competitive salary

Well, yeah - all those would make most of us happy, I'll wager. But they are perhaps too obvious to write about. Oh, and one other thing. Today's young workers - who are understandably choosier than their more readily downsizable elders - are especially keen on working for eco-friendly or "green" corporations. One can't put aside one's concern for Nature even while one is working for The Man, after all.

Our take on this, of course, is that frivolous feel-goodism works fine for new companies riding the crest of an expanding market, but let's just see how long The Man continues to care about "happiness" once the going gets tough. The reader comments appended at the end of the article help bring a welcome flavor of the cynical to this report on a trend whose inanity is otherwise a bit too much to swallow.

"You've got to laugh" from BBC News

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