Joy in the Workplace


Is it possible to have joy in the workplace? I believe so, in fact, as Christians God hopes so. Here are some things to consider.



Did you know?

  • In the US, working adults spend a significant percentage of their waking hours working. Of the 43.6% of adults that work, the average hours per day is 8.21. (For men it is 8.66 and women it is 7.67 hours.) American Time Use Survey (2017)
  • 33 percent of workers are engaged in their jobs, 49 percent are not engaged, and 18 percent are actively disengaged. (US and Canada – Gallup Study) Screen Shot 2018-10-30 at 3.26.28 PM
    • The Gallup Organization defines the categories as follows:
    • Engaged employees work with passion and feel a profound connection to their company. They drive innovation and move the organization forward.
    • Non-engaged employees have essentially “checked out.” They sleepwalk through workdays, They put in time but don’t approach their work with energy or passion.
    • Actively disengaged employees aren’t just unhappy at work; they’re busy acting out their unhappiness. Every day,, these workers undermine what engaged co-workers accomplish. (
  • Employees who use their strengths, skills, and abilities every day are 6x more likely to be engaged at work, 8% more productive, and 15% less likely to leave their jobs.  (Gallup)

What is the difference between Joy and Happiness?

  • Happiness relates to what is happening outside – externally – and centers on me
  • Joy comes from inside – internally – and connects with something outside of me

Resources: Yale Center for Faith and CultureTheology of Joy and the Good Life project and videos: What is Joy?  and Difference between Joy and Happiness 

Faith and Joy

  • Faith anchors our life in something outside ourselves – God.
  • Living a life of joy recognizes faith as a living relationship with God and opens one’s self up to God’s activity around and through us.
    • We are created to be relationally connected.
    • We find purpose when we have meaningful work to do.
    • We find joy when we use the gifts God had created us with.

As you work tomorrow, be it caring for your kids or engaging in a business deal, think about joy, engagement, and God’s desire for you to be relationally connected and to share your particular gifts with others.