#73 How to be happy at work with Samantha Clarke

According to Forbes magazine, work is more often a source of frustration than one of fulfillment for nearly 90% of the world’s workers.

That sounds pretty awful if you ask me. So does that mean we're all doomed to be miserable at work?

Thankfully, far from it.

Enter Samantha Clarke, a happiness consultant and lecturer at The School of Life and The Guardian who's worked with an impressive list of clients including American Express, The Guardian, Innocent, Harrods and MediaCom.

In today's episode she shares her top tips on how to create a happiness culture at work (even if you're on a budget), why bean bags and pizza Fridays are great but they're just the tip of the iceberg, and what does being happy really mean.

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In this episode, you will learn:

  • How to be okay with having a portfolio career.

  • How to install a happiness culture at work (even on a budget)!

  • Why Samantha hates the term work life ‘balance’.

  • How to decide whether it’s time to leave your job to find your happy.

What do you think?

I love how Samantha talks about how it can be so easy to make changes to increase happiness at work and that it doesn’t require a massive budget to make significant change! What’s one thing you can do this week to get more happy into your life? Let me know in the comments below.


Don’t have time to listen? Stand Out Snippets


On why companies find it hard to focus on making their people happy:

“They’re just trying to hit the ground running...and hiring another HR person, or another person in general feels like a lot and then you get the opposite, with established companies where they’ve papered over the cracks for so long.” [09:54]


“They haven’t really figured out the fundamentals of why they’re unhappy in the first place.” [10.46]


“A company isn’t in isolation, when those people clock off at 5pm they go back to their families, back to their communities and if you’re not helping to really enhance that person, that energy they’re taking back elsewhere so we really need to get back to that integrated way of being.” [11:39]


“It’s really important that you don’t just come in with a top-down approach. Because nothing is going to change.” [12:59]


On what leaders can do to easily address whether people are happy at work:

“It takes two minutes just to step back and say how’s everyone doing today? How is this working for everyone?’... As a leader, being open enough to say: ‘I might not have all the answers but I’m open to talking to you.’” [16:08]


“On paper it looked like I had the dream job but I had a boss who was very inflexible, it was very much on her agenda and we all were scuttling around talking about issues amongst ourselves rather than talking to her… It’s one thing I want to encourage leaders to do - open yourselves up to having those discussions.” [17:44]


“It’s the tiny things. I think people think happiness requires having a Google size budget!... We all love to experience more positive emotions, rather than it being long-term scheduled events of happiness, like the Christmas party, what about spontaneous things...like “Before the meeting, let’s just take 5 minutes to congratulate John on his pitch tomorrow.’” [19:59]


On millennials in the workforce:

“I think they get a bad rep. I think they mean well. In some organisations, I think they're slow in moving to incorporate and understand millennials and embrace them.” [22:54]


“I don’t think we’re open to learning about the ways that they work... I think there’s so much reverse mentoring we can learn from them.” [22:34]


“It’s not instant. The amount of unpaid internships and slogging I did to get to where I was… If you want something, you have to work a little bit hard for it.” [24:22]


On what being happy means to her:

“My values are very much around freedom. So having the flexibility to work where I want when I want… And the ability to help people make change. I really love being that catalyst… Being with friends and family that I really care about...Having the ability and the opportunity to do the work that I love… It’s taken me many years to get here.” [22:44]



Website: www.samanthaand.co

Twitter: @samanthaand_

LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/in/clarkesl/

The School of Life: www.theschooloflife.com

Special thanks to White City Place for recording today's episode in their fabulous Pod and for our producer Claire to mix up our track so beautifully. 



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