There are generally three types of unhappy people at work, says life coach Eugene Seah.
You have the ones who are temporarily unhappy due to issues with, say, their colleagues or boss; those who are deeply unhappy because they would rather leave their job and do something more meaningful; and finally those unhappy souls who are just walking in circles, unsure of what they want.
If any of those describes you, you are not alone.
A survey report by data collection platform Qualtrics that was released in January last year said just 49 per cent of Singapore respondents were satisfied with their current job, below the reported global average of 62 per cent of employees.
Coaches and psychologists agree that happiness at work is important since people spend so much time there.
Singapore Management University associate professor of psychology William Tov notes that while it may not be necessary to be “cheerful” at work, it is important for employees to be satisfied, and feel positive and engaged with their job.
“People who are satisfied with their jobs tend to perform better… Employees who feel positive emotions at work are not only less likely to engage in negative behaviour, they are also more likely to help other colleagues and perform tasks that go beyond their basic job description,” he adds.
Dr Victor Seah, senior lecturer in psychology at the Singapore University of Social Sciences, says unhappiness at work is related to job stress, decreased mental health and lower levels of life satisfaction.
It also affects family life, he adds.
Mothers who are unhappy and stressed at work tend to show less warmth and acceptance towards their children, while workplace unhappiness is also associated with fathers being more inclined to punishing behaviours.
Unhappiness can arise from a myriad of sources, such as feeling disrespected or unfairly treated, not feeling safe when providing feedback, feeling overqualified, being unable to fit in with the organisation’s culture, or being in conflict with or even bullied by a colleague or superior.