The Surprising Path to Happiness at Work


Image source by Petr Kratochvil

You enjoy work but hate the paperwork. If paperwork isn’t sapping your joy, it’s the people.

Jamie Naughton, Speaker of the House for Zappos, told me she used to think, “Happiness at work was more in your job duties.”

We wrongly believe happiness at work is exclusively about what we do.

Doing your duty isn’t enough.

The path to happiness at work:

Jamie said, “People are really, really bad at predicting what will bring them sustained happiness.” She said we wrongly believe a new job, promotion, or getting a new boss will make us happy.

The Zappos path to happiness at work includes:

  1. What you do.
  2. How you do it.
  3. Who you do it with.
  4. How the environment supports your work.

My experience shows, who you work with has greater impact on job happiness than what you do. You enjoy ho-hum work if you love the people. On the other hand, you hate your job if the people drive you crazy.

Core ingredient to happiness at work:

“[Happiness at work is about a number of things] and one of them is connectedness.”

“Having best friends at work is really important. And having an environment where you feel like people support you and they’re more like family will make you happier.” Jamie Naughton

Jamie Naughton

Jamie Naughton


I asked Jamie how leaders create environments where people feel connected. She explained that it’s about knowing people beyond their jobs.

  1. Know your team outside of the work they do.
  2. Treat co-workers like family.
  3. What’s important to them has to be important to me.

Successful leaders create environments
where people connect.

Jamie Naughton works directly with Tony Hsieh, CEO of Zappos. She lives the connection message when she says, “Tony is my friend.”

Four minutes with Jamie on happiness at work.

Connect with Jamie:


Twitter: @Jamstar

Related: How the CEO of Zappos Solves Problems

How are you connecting?

How are you helping people connect?