Cushman & Wakefield- Sponsor of the Pulse Blog

The Six Qualities of Deeply Enjoyable Work

Nov 23, 2022

Guest post by, Michal Matlon, Organizational & Architectural Psychologist at theLivingCore

During the coronavirus lockdowns of the past years, we held many open discussions with leaders and thinkers. From them, we took away one key idea. This pandemic has finally forced us to make the long-needed changes in life and work.

Even before the pandemic, we saw worrying numbers coming from studies and surveys. More than two-thirds of employees are not engaged at work. And around half don’t see a clear purpose there.

During the global health crisis, many people have gained more control over their work. Suddenly, they could choose when, where, and how they work – something many managers had previously described as impossible.

As health risks receded, however, some companies began to try to return to “normal mode.” The very one that was causing such intense discontent. But it turned out that a return was no longer possible. The world of work has undergone a radical transformation, and autonomy has become a basic expectation.

This has prompted us to look deeper into the subject. We combined insights from studies and our own university research with the experience gained as theLivingCore over the last ten years of supporting different organizations. We interviewed executives, founders, and visionaries.

Work Is Here for Us to Enjoy

These efforts led to our approach, which is based on a simple but bold idea. Work exists for people to enjoy deeply.

If we agree on this premise, we will discover a new way of looking at work. Because if we really want to design our organizations to enable the good life, we will have to change how we manage them and lead our people.

Fortunately, research has already shown that companies that follow this simple principle gain a sustainable competitive advantage, whether it’s better business results, talent attraction, employee retention, customer loyalty, and successful innovation rates.

When your employees genuinely enjoy their work and feel like they are an essential part of your organization, they bring their whole, authentic selves to the workplace. And with them, their full potential, contributing towards your shared goals.

But what principles do leaders need to bring to life in their organizations to enable deep enjoyment? Based on our research, we created a framework of six qualities that reflect the deep psychological needs of your employees. If your work design, leadership, culture, and workplaces satisfy these, you will have positively transformed your organization and your workers’ lives.

The Six Qualities of Enjoyable Work and What They Mean


Self-determination means that your employees have control and agency over their work. They can decide when, where, and how they work. They can influence things around them and see the impact of their decisions. The organization also enables them to proactively engage with problems and challenges instead of just reacting to what comes at them.


Presence is about being able to achieve deep focus and flow when working. It’s about the organizational culture and spaces helping people to avoid distractions and have enough uninterrupted time to immerse themselves in their tasks.


Experiencing playfulness at work doesn’t mean playing table tennis or taking a slide to a lower floor. It means that employees can playfully approach their everyday work and are enabled by the leadership to experiment and try new approaches to solving problems. Leaders can support this by supporting workers in dedicating a portion of their time to experimentation and providing a safe space for failures.

Goal Orientation

Goal orientation is not only about having clear goals but also about participating in setting them. It means receiving regular and helpful feedback that clarifies if your employees are getting closer to their goals. It also means developing mastery in their craft and experiencing growth regularly.


Authentic leaders and workplaces make people feel safe to bring their whole selves to work. In such a team, they feel accepted and valued for who they are, have trusting and supportive relationships with their colleagues, and feel free to behave in alignment with their values.


A purposeful organization starts with having a clear purpose for its existence. Its leadership can honestly, precisely, and accurately describe why the organization exists. At the same time, it helps its employees understand their own purpose and align their role in the company with both the organizational and personal purpose.

Organizations and leaders who successfully put these six qualities into practice are on the right path toward building a sustainable, purposeful, and human existence. They will see significant improvements in their ability to attract and retain talent, build customer loyalty, and innovate their way into the future.

If you’d like to learn more about applying the six qualities in your organization, you can now download a digital copy or buy a printed, hand-bound version of The Enjoyable Company at

Wellness Workplace
CoreNet Global