Hate Your Job? You Need to Meet Arbejdsglaede

I know what you're thinking. Adrienne, are you still drunk from last night? WTF is "arbejdsglaede" and why should I care?!

I am so glad you asked, you jaded little spreadsheet jockey, you.

Arbejdsglaede is a Danish concept that means happiness at work, basically. Of course there is no American English equivalent, although I guess "paycheck" would be close.

This guy — a Dane, no doubt — wrote an article about why Danish workers are so darn happy compared not only to their American counterparts but the world. THE WORLD:

You will often see Denmark listed in surveys as the “happiest country on the planet." Interestingly Danes are not only happy at home, they're also happy at work. According to most studies of worker satisfaction among nations, the happiest employees in the world are in Denmark. The U.S.? Not so much. Here's just one data point: a recent Gallup poll found that 18% of American workers are actively disengaged, meaning they are “emotionally disconnected from their workplaces and less likely to be productive.” The same number for Danish workers is only 10%.

Well how the hell do you become the happiest workers in the world? I don't even have to put proper pants on to "go to" work every morning and I'm far from the happiest worker in the world.

The first thing: reasonable working hours. Once again, I know what you're thinking. LOL, yeah right.

I once talked to an American who had gotten a job as a manager at a Danish company. Wanting to prove his worth, he did what he had always done and put in 60 to 70 hours a week. After a month, his manager invited him to a meeting. He was fully expecting to be praised for his hard work, but instead he was asked “Why do you work so much? Is something wrong? Do you have a problem delegating? What can we do to fix this?”

Can you imagine that conversation at a public accounting firm?

The rest of the article goes on to explain that low power distance, generous unemployment benefits, constant training and a focus on happiness also lead Danes to be happier at work than the rest of us.

Allegedly. Until some Danish public accounting grunt gives us the skinny on the working conditions, we're going with "cool story, bro."
 

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