Can a Job Make You Happy?

From 1950 to 1980, corporate profits accounted for six percent of nation's gross domestic product. Since 1980, that amount has doubled to twelve percent.

Corporations are making more money while paying less of it to their employees and consumers (in the form of less expensive products). From 1950 to 1980, corporate profits accounted for six percent of nation's gross domestic product. Since 1980, that amount has doubled to twelve percent.


In the heady post-WWII days, when the American economy roared like no economy had roared before, businesses regularly extended fringe benefits to their employees—from turkeys on Thanksgiving to substantial bonuses on Christmas. As the labor force expanded, however, much of that good feeling was lost.

Today, businesses called "benefit corporations" are trying to remake the beneficent American company by extending benefits to employees like free exercise equipment, paid volunteer time, and communal resources like a tool bank. The goal is to create employee loyalty at a time when jobs are more ethereal than ever. 

Some businesses will soon take advantage of hyper-efficient labor represented by apps like Wonolo, which matches workers to temp jobs instantly (bypassing resumes and interviews). Others will try rebuilding worker-based capital and invest in individuals as a precious resource. 

In his Big Think interview, happiness expert Tal Ben Shahar explains how corporations can benefit from a focus on the positive and gives specific tips that workplaces of any size can put into practice.

Read more at the New York Times

Photo credit: Shutterstock

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