Joy at Work

While putting “joy” and “work” in the same sentence may seem contradictory, it’s actually more achievable than you may think. Yes, it’s possible.

New research, insights, and designs to create workplaces that help people feel good.​​

That’s because joy is an emotion and reflects how we feel in the moment, says Ingrid Fetell Lee, author of Joyful. She argues that joy is actually attainable because little things, incremental changes, can spark joy. A fuzzy pillow, a fun lamp, a comfortable chair, a friendly smile — or when the technology in the room actually works — can bring moments of delight. When we experience joy, it’s a signal of thriving. It lets us know we’re on the right track toward overall well-being. While designing joyful spaces can’t make up for toxic work behaviors, organizations can be intentional in creating the culture, policies, and places that cultivate joy.

Designers — who know that physical spaces can shape our behaviors and perspectives — are also exploring the promise and possibility of what a workplace can do to leave us feeling more energized at the end of each day. They’re asking themselves: What is the most effective way to design spaces that not only help us be productive, but actually spark moments of joy?

Six dimensions make up someone’s physical, cognitive, and emotional well-being — meaning, authenticity, belonging, optimism, mindfulness and vitality.

All of these dimensions need to be integrated into the physical workplace and work experience to lead to moments of joy and employee well-being.

In This Issue:

  • New global research with employees in 11 countries identifies why employee well-being is struggling and how leaders can create a positive change
  • Steelcase Global designers give us their edits on creating spaces that delight and de-stress​
  • How new collaboration spaces help high-stakes business transformation teams deliver results faster
  • Why more access to privacy is critical in the workplace
  • Ways to create more people-centered industrial spaces