Alexander Kjerulf is de zelf benoemde Chief Happiness Officer. Alleen de naam al!
Hij schrijft op zijn weblog over hoe belangrijk ‘vrolijk op je werk zijn’ is. Het zijn regelmatig zeer interessante artikelen waar je veel kunt leren over hoe je jullie bedrijf een betere plek om te werken kunt maken. Ook regelmatig leuke en grappige artikeltjes. Maar het zijn voor mij vooral de artikelen waar je als manager of eigenaar van kunt leren om de mensen ‘Happy at Work’ te kunnen maken.
Zoals gezegd heeft hij nu een boek geschreven, Happy Hour is 9 to 5 – How to Love Your Job, Love your Life and Kick Butt at Work.
Naar aanleiding van dit eerste boek roept Alexander mensen met een blog op een interview met hem te doen. Of in Alxander’s woorden:
“I will of course be promoting my book in many weird ways – and one that IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ve really been looking forward to is doing blog interviews.
HereÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s the deal: If you have a blog, and would like to do an interview with me about happiness at work…”
Die handschoen heb ik dus vandaag opgepakt. Niet de eerste, want dat was Mike MacLeod van Inside The Head of Mike MacLeod – een nieuw blog.
OK, de vragen die Alexander mij beantwoorde. Om vertaal-vergissingen uit de weg te gaan laat ik het interview in het Engels.
Can you tell us, in one sentence, why happiness at work is so important.
Because we’ll be spending more of our adult lives on work than we will on our families, friends and hobbies combined. If we’re not happy doing something that takes up so much time and energy – we’re in trouble :o)
How did you come to refine the best principles from Enterprise Systems (zijn eerste bedrijf wat hij later verkocht heeft), so that as many people as possible can benefit from the values. It has nothing to do with your first computer.
When we founded our IT company in 1997, we had one goal: To make it a great company to work for where people could do great work. We didn’t care much about profits. We did many things very differently (for instance, we had no managers!) and it was a very happy place to work! I felt that many other companies could learn from what worked for us!
And of course my first computer, a Sinclair ZX-81 really inspired me. Just kidding!
Where did you learn the principles from your work, was it ‘just’ the 80+ books you read on the subject?
80+? try 300+! :o)
It’s books, real-life experiences, talking to a lot of people about it and visiting a lot of happy and unhappy companies.
Also I’ve learned a lot from the audience when I speak. When I do workshops and presentations, it’s never a one-way speech, it’s always interactive. In that way, I learn a lot every time i speak or consult.
And of course I’ve learned so much from the readers on my blog. There’s a constant stream of thoughts and ideas that is incredibly interesting!
As an employee in an SME or SMB, how long should you try to change the workplace into a happy one before moving on to the next job or worse give up (as I have seen often)?
That’s incredibly difficult to say. I think that very often, your gut knows if it’s time to move on. Your rational mind is still debating pros and cons, but your instinct is sure!
The only thing you should never do is give up. Choose to stay and make it work or choose to leave and find something better. Don’t just stay and give up, because finding a new job is too scary or too much trouble. Unfortunately, as you write, a lot of people do just that.
Can people use and share your ideas when they are self employed? How? (I am self employed, work from home and have a lot of contact with other freelancers)
Sure! In the book I talk about the six actions that make people happy at work: Be positive, Learn, Be open, Participate, Find meaning and Love. They apply equally to the self-employed and to people with “real jobs”.
How do you feel about talent that is within the people?
I love it. In my opinion, being happy at work is about becoming more and more yourself – and being yourself at work and outside of work. That is only possible if you get to realize the talents inside you.
For you, your blog is very important to share your thoughts of Happy at work, this is the way I see it. Can people use a weblog for happiness at work? How?
Absolutely. A good way is to blog mostly about positive things. Blog that are all about ranting and complaining can be a lot of fun to read, but only make people more upset – both the blogger and the readers.
That’s why I’ve chosen to only blog about things I like. If read a bad book, I don’t blog about it – I just forget about it.
Also, blogging is about being open and honest – and that is a good way to make yourself happy (it’s one of the six happy actions).
Was it hard to write the book or was it mostly fun? No, no don’t answer that One. That would be to easy looking at the conversations you had around writing the book…. looking at the pictures….
I hated every second and the pictures are all fakes :o)
Why should people read your book, when their office is already a happy place to work?
For three reasons:
- they can learn how to spread that happiness to other people.
- They can find out what it is that makes them happy. That makes it easier to hold on to that happiness. I’ve talked to companies who say “We used to have so much fun at work, and suddenly work is hard and boring.” That’s because they forgot to notice what it is that makes them happy.
- Most of all: To become even happier. You can never be too happy at work :o)
Are there any ideas of setting up local office in other (European) countries?
I would love to. If anyone would like to start a local office of The Happy at Work Project, just contact me.
You used to have the cost of you speaking at a conference on your website. In your new website/weblog layout it is gone, or I can not find it anymore. Did this not work for you?
That’s very perceptive.
I’ve chosen not to show the cost and discuss it directly with clients when I talk to them.
When you have so much fun at work do you still have fun at home 😉
No. At home I’m totally bored and unhappy!
I think that the best way to prepare for a great weekend is to have a great work week. Some people do it the other way around: The only way to survive the work week is to have a great weekend. That sucks!
One tip for the Dutch readers of my blog…
Perform a random act of workplace kindness today! Bring someone a cup of coffee or a candy bar without them asking. Pay someone a compliment. Bake a cake. Do one little thing to make other people at work a little happier.
It’ll come right back to you!
Mocht je geintresseerd zijn in meer achtergrond van Alexander, tja je kunt natuurlijk op zijn weblog terecht:
- The Happy At Work BookTIP
- The most popular articles on the site
- Happy at work in six minutes – a short video about happiness at work – zie onderaan dit artikel
- Make your business happy and rich – a good overview for leaders
Het zijn allemaal goede tips om eens te lezen
Als aanvulling kun je kijken naar de antwoorden uit het interview van Mike:
- Are you happy ALL the time?
- Do people think you are crazy?
- Why do people need to read your new book?
- Why do people accept – or worse, expect – being UNhappy at work?
- Should happiness at work be a goal of senior management? Why?
- What things can someone do this week to improve their happiness at work?
- When should a person determine that they can’t be happy at their current job and move on?
- What do you say to people that feel that the workplace should be serious and not fun?
- What is the happiest company that you know of?
- Tell me your favorite story of someone being happy at work.
Update 15 dec 06: interview van Andrew FerrierÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s Blog
- What first interested you about happiness at work? Were you unhappy at your workplace?
- Have you discovered which companies make people happy at work? In particular, is there an international bias: are some countries better at this than others?
- Do you think thereÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s a conflict between businesses making profits and keeping employees happy?
- YouÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ve just published your first book: Happy Hour is 9 to 5. Was there any part of the writing process that made you unhappy?
- YouÃ¢â‚¬â„¢re now self-employed as a happiness consultant. Do you think self-employment is a good way to be happy with your work?
- Should large corporates have vice-presidents of happiness?
- What does the future hold? Are you seeing an improvement in happiness levels among employees? Is there a market for more people like yourself?
Mocht je er nu veel problemen mee hebben dat dit in het Engels is laat dan een reactie achter dan zal ik het interview alsnog vertalen en hier aan toevoegen. Geen probleem.