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being on the ball with your colleagues...

By Becca Watson

Football has well an truly taken over people’s lives since the middle of June. And as an avid football fan, I’ve absolutely loved it.

More than just a game though, it offered me some moments of insight and reflection which I would love to share...

You might have seen in our World Happiness week blog posts, I spoke about football as something I watch that brings me happiness (go and check them out!) so in this month's blog, I thought I would talk a bit more about my passion for the sport and reflect on how we can draw parallels between football and the working world.

I’ve been watching football regularly since I was 6 years old and my dad started taking me to watch Leyton Orient, and since then I’ve been to 3 play off finals (all lost unfortunately) seen us promoted twice, relegated twice, watched countless football matches, and consumed more balti pies and hot chocolates than I care to admit. I even, as a special 7th birthday treat was a mascot. There’s a picture knocking around somewhere at my parents house capturing the memory but I wont subject you to that! It’s always been the thing I did with my dad and my brothers, and when I started going to games again after a few years break I remembered everything that I loved about the game, the club and wondered why I spent so long away from it.

"This is happiness!"- me at the game with my family!

I didn’t realise just how much I was enjoying going to football matches again until the pandemic hit last year and all football stopped. Orient’s season was curtailed so there was no chance of watching them in action, but the premier league restarted in June so that filled a bit of a gap in what I was missing, especially when there were 3 games a day!

Finally when the leagues restarted in the summer we were all glad to be able to watch matches online, I spent every Saturday and Tuesday with my family in my social bubble watching Leyton Orient win, lose and draw. There was definitely something missing though, and that was witnessing it for myself. I missed being in a crowd and feeling the atmosphere from the fans, it certainly felt like football is nothing without fans.

Fast forward to this year, I’ve had an extra dose of football thanks to England qualifying for Euro 2020, and the tournament finally got underway after being postponed thanks to the pandemic. There was a real interest in the England team and how they interacted with each other. Most of these players come from different parent clubs, some even at rivalry with one another, yet the minute they were playing for their country that was all left at the door. I’ve seen countless video’s over the last few weeks of the team laughing, joking and cheering each other on, and more poignantly, consoling each other when it came to a crashing end after a penalty shoot out against Italy in the final.

It’s easy to forget that these players are colleagues, and it got me thinking about the power and benefits of team work in the workplace.

We are family...

Team’s at work often end up like a family, and its easy to understand why when we spend more time with our colleagues than our actual families in most cases! And like families, teams have different dynamics and each member brings their individual strengths and experiences to the table. And it’s a great opportunity to share information which can improve your colleagues skillset, learn from other’s mistakes and identify areas of improvement in your own work. Sharing the workload also reduces the chance of burnout.

Creativity is intelligence having fun...

Teamwork is also known to fuel creativity, which in turn encourages colleagues to thrive more in their role and boosts productivity! We at The Happy Learning Company did our first 'in-person' design lab last month for a while, and from the very beginning you could notice the difference in the energy in the room compared to our recent design labs over zoom, and we came away feeling energised and excited for the next steps.

This is happiness... working together 'in person' to create something magical!

We wouldn't be The Happy Learning Company if we didn't mention it...

Teamwork, believe it or not, also makes you happier! It creates a bigger sense of accomplishment compared to working alone, provides a support network for all involved, boosts morale and makes work generally more fun! I think most people who’ve had to work remotely over the last year (who hasn’t) has struggled with the lack of social contact and the coldness of virtual meetings. Andy goes into this in a lot more detail in his most recent blog post if you want to read more into this.

So... take a moment to reflect...

How do you find working in a team compared to working individually?

Do you notice a shift in your energy when working with others?

I’ve just spoken about a few benefits of working in a team, I’d love for you to share with us what benefits you think there are and your experiences!

In the meantime, I’m looking forward to being back at Brisbane Road, watching a brand new team bond and thrive together and hopefully achieve promotion to League One, and I hope to see you there!

With love,


Don't just look for happiness - create it

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