Today, specialists in management, business, accounting and finance sciences have taken organizations by storm. Although most of them are very competent, these managers often arrive with ready-made recipes. Methods based on figures, statistics or other financial containers to justify this or that investment. Actions that rarely put people first. This partly explains the limited and often insufficient returns of the various traditional management methods. However, here is why it is necessary to look at a less known angle: happiness at work.

happiness at work

What does bonheur au work?

First, when we ask employees what makes them happy, they inevitably think of the circumstances, possessions or people in their lives. However, although it is difficult to conceive at first glance, happiness is largely a chemical experiment.

These are 4 main neurochemicals that are fundamentally linked to sensations or emotions that are associated with happiness. A complex chemical system that manages our ambitions and actions on a daily basis. We are talking about endorphin, dopamine, serotonin and oxytocin.


To illustrate the concept, I like to talk about our ancestors Homo sapiens from Africa, China or Australia. Men who knew how to survive and adapt thanks to happiness hormones or doped with endogenous hormones. For example, our prehistoric man, just like us today, had to come out of his cave to feed himself. To do this, nature provided him with endorphins (endogenous morphines) in order to endure long walks and to naturally numb the pain during difficult hunting trips. These are the same hormones that make us get up in the morning to go to work.


For the caveman, when his spear hit its target, the body released a hormone called dopamine, the chemical of reward. In short, when we score a goal, hit a target or perform a task, we always receive a pleasant dose of dopamine in our brains. A hormone that tells us we've done a good job. For example, when you publish a photo or deliver an important report, that's the dopamine you receive when your peers approve it. Better yet, it's small doses of natural dopamine that you receive naturally at each approval. This is not surprising when you consider the repeated successes of Facebook and Instagram in this world.


Another well-known neurotransmitter, serotonin is perhaps the best-known happiness chemical, as it is the one that antidepressant drugs are primarily aimed at. Serotonin is a neurotransmitter that is naturally triggered by many things we can do every day. At work, serotonin is responsible for good mood at work, which allows us to feel inner well-being and emotional stability. Just like at home, a healthy, calm and safe work environment contributes greatly to the release of serotonin.


Finally, oxytocin is the neurochemical that allowed us to become social creatures. It makes us feel an empathy that helps us feel close and connected to others when it is released. Oxytocin is primarily associated with loving touch and close relationships. For example, to get your dose of oxytocin without having a blast on ecstasy, give someone a hug or your office mascot a hug and you're done.

Why worry about happiness hormones at work?

Humans react strongly to hormones that provide a sense of well-being and happiness. In the workplace, if the climate or culture of the company allows these happiness hormones to be triggered, they will keep employees in a superior state of well-being. They will be more satisfied, engaged, passionate and fulfilled. The work climate will be more serene and human bonds will be stronger. Your team could reach heights you never imagined.