Work from Home and You Just Might Become As Happy As A Swiss!
Become Happier by Working From Home
The Swiss nation is the happiest on earth: UK ranks 21st
Switzerland, famous for its chocolates, clocks, cheeses and private banks is the world’s happiest according to the 2015 World Happiness Report. The Swiss topples over the Danes who held the top spot distinction for the past two consecutive years.
The report was released by Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN) for the United Nations on April 23. The study ranks nations’ happiness index based on factors such as GDP, social support, life expectancy, freedom to make choices, generosity and perceptions of corruption. People from over 150 countries were asked to score these variables on a scale of 0-10.
Based on the report, the top 10 happiest countries are Switzerland, Iceland, Denmark, Norway, Canada, Finland, Netherlands, Sweden, New Zealand and Australia.
UK ranks number 21 among 158 countries, going a notch up from the previous year rankings, behind countries like United States (15), Ireland (18) and the United Arab Emirates (20), but ahead of Singapore (24), Germany (26), France (29) and Spain (36).
At the extreme end of the spectrum, the least happy countries are dominated by many African countries. Togo is the unhappiest, followed by Burundi, war-torn Syria, Benin and Rwanda.
The report also highlights neuroscientific and psychological research showing that a happy brain relies on four different factors:
1) Staying positive
2) Recovery from negative emotions
3) Empathy, altruism and pro-social behavior
4) Mind-wandering, mindfulness and “affective stickiness” or emotion captured attention
How working from home can make you happier
This research on happiness and well-being reflects a similar philosophy that we, at SurveyBee, have always believed and continue to conduct our business by — we believe in the importance of striking a work-life balance and the freedom to work around your priorities while being both financially and personally through working from home.
The combination of the four different factors that boost happiness are much more attainable when working from home and staying close to family and loved ones.
You tend to feel more positive and happier when you work from home and your life are in relative balance and even enhancing each other.
Recovery from negative emotions:
Additionally, circumstances that trigger negative feelings like stress, guilt and even loneliness are avoided when you are working from home as you are blessed with the flexibility of managing your time around your commitments.
Empathy, altruism and pro-social behavior:
You get the luxury of adjusting your time when you are working from home, in favour of nurturing personal relationships that matter to you the most, i.e. family and friends.
Mind-wandering, mindfulness and “affective stickiness” or emotion captured attention.
Finally, a work-from-home setup gives you more freedom to let your mind roam free, have a break when needed and take the time to fully experience life outside the busy-ness of work.
A study also worth noting in line with how working from home can make one happier is a German report by Frey and Stutzer in 2004 that shows the link between time spent commuting and satisfaction with life. The findings show that those who spent an hour commuting to work are significantly less happy than those who did not commute.
They also suggest that bigger earnings from a job that involves commuting do not compensate for the time lost. Did you know that the average British worker spends 10,634 hours, almost a year, just travelling to and from work? That is such a substantial amount of time that could have otherwise been spent with our loved ones, after you have been working from home!
There is also another interesting study by researchers at the London School of Economics that concludes that people who work in an office were twice as unhappy as those who work from their homes. A lot has been written regarding the benefits of telecommuting and these are just a few that we cited on why it can actually do more for you and for your happiness!
Happiness at a Glance
Learn more about happiness with this cool infographic!