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Happiness at work

Engelstalige omslagWhy happiness at work?

The book Happiness@work, that is translated after the Dutch version was a bestseller, tells you everything you need to know for a sustainable increase in happiness. Happiness is a trending topic for the general public and in business. The Harvard Business Review devoted a special issue to happiness at work in February 2012. It is increasingly recognized that the focus on happiness it is a non-zero sum game, with overlapping interests for workers and employers. Research shows that happy employees are more productive, more creative, better team players and less sensitive to burnout and negative stress compared to their unhappy colleagues. And what’s more, employees, managers and organizations can influence their own level of happiness.


The Netherlands is one of the few countries in the world that have a word for happiness at work (arbeidsvreugde). Over the years, the Dutch have devoted a lot of attention to the subject. It is from this cultural background that the authors tell a story about happiness at work that is inspired by state of the art scientific research and an intriguing personal account of the (un)happiness at work of first author Onno Hamburger. Onno started his quest for happiness at work from a well-paid job on the small tropical island of Aruba. He had acquired the status he was looking for, but discovered that the paradise he had envisioned made him profoundly unhappy. He needed to understand what made him tick and the blooming science of happiness gave him the direction he needed. Happiness@work is scientifically sound, realistic and written with enthusiasm and optimism. The reader is invited to travel the path towards better self leadership more efficiently. Each step in the quest for happiness at work is grounded with psychological exercises and questionnaires. This unique combination inspires readers to buy and share this bestseller. The first print run sold out within three months. It reached the #1 position in the online charts of     

The authors

Onno Hamburger is an opinion leader in the area of happiness at work both in the Netherlands and abroad.. He worked with thousands of people as a personal happiness coach. He is founder of the large ‘Happiness at work’ LinkedIn group (+1500). Hamburger has a large network (+2500) of people interested in the subject. Ad Bergsma earned his PhD in happiness research at Erasmus University Rotterdam. One of his main interests is self-help advice. He was guest editor of the special self-help issue of the Journal of Happiness Studies. He is a well-known author of seventeen books about psychological subjects in The Netherlands.

Advance praise for Happiness at work

'Happiness at Work provides us with a compass that points to the sources of our happiness. Discover what actions do we need create a better - happier - world for ourselves and those we relate to.'

Joep C. de Jong, Managing Director of JLS International, co-author of Dutch books 'Waarderend Organiseren' and the 'Handboek Appreciative Inquiry', and associate of the TAOS Institute (NM, USA).

‘Happiness at Work is a step-by-step guide that will help you to use your strengths, values and personality traits to select the best job and employer and ultimately be more happy at work.’

Val Kinjerski, PhD, Principal Consultant, Kaizen Solutions for Human Services and Author of Rethinking Your Work: Getting to the Heart of What Matters

"We all have the ability to change the world with happiness — one company, community and city at a time. If you're ready to create a culture of engagement and connectedness at your company, this is one to read."

Jenn Lim, CEO and Chief Happiness Officer at Delivering Happiness

‘The book is very informative, easy to read and could be used both by professionals and general audience alike. I liked the fact that the book covers and connects personality factors, strengths, values and goals. The self-tests are a great tool  for a reader to process information, understand and work with what they read. I can see this book being used for self-discovery, in corporate training, and counseling.’

Olga I. Iof, LMHC, CAPP, child and adolescent therapist, Greater New York City Area

'This is an amazing book. I feel like you're talking to me directly. There are a number of passages that I feel you could be writing about me. Thanks!'

Ashley Lesko, FP&A Finance Manager at Belk

'There are many books out there about happiness, and increasingly about happiness at work, but this new addition is definitely worth a read. Combining good solid research with very practical strategies and wonderfully personal stories, Happiness at Work will not only help you understand how to be happier in the office but more importantly, it will show you how to make it a reality.'

Dr. Timothy Sharp – Chief Happiness Officer, Executive Coach & Clinical Psychologist, Consultant & Speaker, Adjunct Professor – UTS Business School & RMIT School of Health Sciences

'The book is more than just a happiness compass; it not only points you in the right direction, it tells you the steps to take to get you to your destination and what to pack!  A true guide to happiness at work.'

Tina Hallis, Ph.D., Speaker and trainer for building positive work cultures so people and profits can

'I love the big five as a framework and think it's relevant, and so is the focus on values and insight into the individual, i.e. getting to know one's self first. Really love all the exercises available inside.'

Sunny Grosso, Culture and Brand Boss at Delivering Happiness LLC

'Well a few hours and three cups of tea later, and I've just spent a very enjoyable afternoon reading your book.  It is accessible, easy to read, presents a very balanced view on "happiness" and with practical suggestions for the end user or coach.'

Therese Joyce, Visiting Lecturer, Positive Psychology Centre, Melbourne Graduate School of Education, University of Melbourne.

'Congratulations for the practical down-to-earth self-help book. The linking of individual personality using the big five to one's happiness with simple to do questionnaire is brilliant. Without that, it could be difficult for people who are not familiar with personality profiling to comprehend. The action plan at the end is a nice way to collectively put the idea into action. This is something that most readers find it difficult to do. Nothing will change if one does not put what he has read into action. As this is about happiness at work, it might be of interest to employers or managers who would like to introduce happiness culture into their organisations. A section on this might be relevant. More charts, diagrams and images will make the book more attractive to read.'

Johnson Ong Chee Bin, Chief Happiness Coach & AUN-QA Expert at Living Better, Singapore

What others said about the Dutch verzion of Happinesss at work:

‘Employers need to invest in the happiness of employees. It will be a profitable investment.’

de Volkskrant

 ‘A book that lifts your spirits.’

Magazine Expertise

‘This book convincingly shows that happiness is measurable, testable and most doable. It is an extremely helpful, practical and down-to-earth guide and an inspirational compass.’
Berthold Gunster, author of Yes-but what if it all works out

‘The ideal job does not exist, but seeking self-insight is a promising start.’

NRC Handelsblad

‘At work you may realize that you have crafted a good life.’

De Pers

‘Fantastic! If you read this book you can do without a coach. It provided the answers I needed and it inspired me. Reading the book will lead to a better self-understanding. The book inspires and offers practical advice. I recommend this book to everybody!’

Review at

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Buy the book

Publisher: Uitgeverij Boom Nelissen

Country of publication: The Netherlands

Trans. rights:  Paul Sebes , Sebes & Van Gelderen Literary Agency Amsterdam

Pages: 175


Happiness @ work