Improved productivity and creativity levels aren’t the only positive results that come from a happy workplace.


That’s the key message being promoted by organisers of the Happiness at Work Week Australia, which this year runs from 25 - 29 September.


The latest World Happiness Index report released in March saw Australia positioned in 12th place. While it’s a solid performance, there is room for improvement when it comes to making people’s working lives better.


Happiness At Work Week (HAWW) Australia was inspired by the International Week of Happiness at Work (IWOHAW), a movement that began in the Netherlands in 2018.

 No rules

A do-it-yourself initiative, the IWOHAW is not owned by anyone, nor are there any rules or do’s and don’ts. 


Maartje Wolff and Fennande van der Meulen founded IWOHAW because they believed that happiness at work is important.


Reflecting their belief in the topic, the pair wrote a Happiness at Work Manifesto.

“When employees are happy at work, they are better parents, better friends, and better community members. The world will be a better place if more people are happy at work.” 


In 2018 the idea spread worldwide, in over 30 countries people joined, from Argentina to Hongkong, from Belgium to Denmark.


The organisers of HAWW Australia say there are seven key pillars that contribute to a happy workplace. These include knowing your actions make a difference, embracing new opportunities, having colleagues who feel like friends, taking care of yourself inside and out, enjoying life’s little adventures by having regular fun, finding joy and purpose in what you do, and being authentic. 


To encourage more Australian workplaces to embrace the initiative, organisers have developed a 90-second quiz designed to help workplaces recognise the areas where they could assist their staff to be happy.

 Mood boosting

New to the 2023 event, self-proclaimed “happiness specialists”, Modern People, The Happy Workplace Group and Happiness Co have teamed up to stage a work week workshop, designed for those who want to boost their team’s happiness at work. 


A highlight of the week will be the Workplace Happiness Awards, which are being staged to recognise organisations that care.