In the corporate workplace culture, happiness plays a crucial role in determining the productivity and satisfaction of a workforce. It also enhances the image of a company and improves its ability to retain its employees for the long term. So, it is fair to say that happiness at work is indispensable.
Yet, the concept of happiness at work has only started to gain prominence in the past couple of decades. Before that, employers primarily focused on their business, trade relations, profits, and so on.
Only until recently did researchers start realizing the benefits of fostering employee happiness and consequently, employers also started giving importance to it.
Now, numerous institutions provide “happiness” courses for people. These courses, like “The Science of Happiness” by edX, teach people how to find happiness in their lives and be happier at work and life in general.
So, let’s ask ourselves the question: Why don’t we associate happiness and work with each other?
Our culture has taught us that we must work to support ourselves financially and become a responsible member of society. That is why most people go to work because they feel obliged to do so, not because they feel happy working.
We rarely think of workplaces as places where people go to seek happiness. Instead, we perceive them as places where we provide our skills and time in exchange for money to help us lead a comfortable life.
We humans generally pursue happiness in our personal lives, either by maintaining our relationships or fulfilling our wants and aspirations. But happiness in life also can be achieved at work. And contrary to popular belief, work doesn’t have to be boring and unfulfilling.
Benefits of Happiness at Work
Happy workers can help create a harmonious and positive work environment. Moreover, such people are more committed to work and are eager to put in effort beyond their job descriptions.
Here are ten benefits of happiness in the workplace for employers and employees alike-
- Increased productivity
- Increased creativity
- Improved health and well-being
- Decreased workplace stress
- Increased motivation
- Increased work satisfaction
- Decreased turnover rate
- Increased retention rate
- Fewer workplace accidents
- Lower health care costs
Steps to Achieve Happiness at Work
Feeling good and happy at work can help you achieve peace of mind and work-life balance.
Research shows that people who are happy at work better overall and are more productive than people who are not.
Now that you are aware of the benefits of being happy at work, learn how you can achieve happiness in your workplace.
Here are 27 steps for both employees and employers to help find happiness and foster positive emotions at work-
For Employees -
1. Always Smile.
Whenever you talk with or come across someone at work, greet them with a warm smile. According to a paper published in the Psychological Bulletin, smiling can make people happier. So, remember to smile whenever you get an opportunity to do so.
2. Be Grateful.
Be grateful and appreciative to everyone you meet at work, whether it’s your co-worker or your boss. Expressing gratitude can help improve relationships and help people increase positive feelings towards each other.
3. Engage with other departments.
Get out of your workspace and connect with other teams and departments in your office. Doing so will help create better relations with them, and you might also learn new skills that might increase your worth for the company.
4. Keep your workspace clean and organized.
Always keep your workspace neat and tidy. A clean and organized workspace can create a positive vibe and increase motivation and productivity. It will also keep your mind fresh and leave you feeling good throughout the day.
5. Go on a vacation.
Long hours at work day in and day out can take a toll on anyone. If all else fails and you feel that your productivity has hit rock-bottom, then it may be time for a vacation. Taking a vacation can result in greater success and more happiness at work.
6. Help others.
Come forward and help your colleagues whenever they need assistance. Helping and supporting people in their time of need can make you feel better about yourself and the level of happiness it provides is unparalleled by anything else.
7. Focus on one task at one time.
Focusing on more than one task at a particular time can increase stress and be a cause of unhappiness. Prioritizing your tasks according to their importance will help you combat this and keep you focused at work.
8. Meditate regularly.
People around the world are realizing the benefits of regular meditation and implementing it in their lives. So, jump on the bandwagon and practice mindful meditation regularly to de-clutter your mind and feel energized, refreshed, and happy.
9. Eat healthy.
Proper nutrition is essential for staying healthy and happy. It plays a crucial role in how we function physically and mentally. So, avoid unhealthy food items and eat healthily to keep health problems at bay and stay happy.
10. Socialize at work.
Humans are social beings, and we need socialization to function correctly. As you spend most of the time of your day at work, it’s a good idea to have good relationships with everyone at work. Talk to your co-workers at work and connect with them on a personal level.
11. Ask for feedback.
Feedback from your employer or your co-workers can help you realize your drawbacks and work on improving them. Being able to take feedback and criticism positively is one of the critical factors of being happy and successful in life.
12. Exercise regularly.
Besides keeping you fit and healthy, regular physical exercise can go a long way in eliminating stress and uplifting your mood. It also helps increase self-confidence and boost morale. So, start exercising regularly and reap the benefits it provides.
13. Set a goal or purpose.
Having a goal or a sense of purpose is very beneficial for our overall well-being. It can positively affect our abilities to think and combat stress. Determine what your purpose is and work towards achieving it. It will help you become more satisfied and happier in life.
14. Sleep is important.
Make sure you get enough sleep every night. Sleep is essential for functioning optimally and getting sufficient sleep increases our resilience to stress and illnesses. Aim for at least 7-8 hours of sleep every night to make sure that you are functioning to the best of your abilities.
15. Take Breaks.
Sitting on your chair and working non-stop for long hours can cause serious repercussions in your life. Take short breaks at work frequently and go for a walk or maybe socialize with your colleagues. Taking breaks can increase happiness, productivity and make you more focused at work.
16. Read about happiness and feeling better.
Many books describe the concept of happiness and the different factors affecting it. For example, “The Happiness Advantage” by Shawn Achor describes in detail the principles of positive psychology which affect work performance and success.
Get your hands on one, it will help you to stay happy in all situations.
17. Value yourself.
Never forget what your real worth is. Always take a moment now and then to appreciate and value yourself. Remind yourself of your abilities and your past achievements. Doing so can make sure you find happiness and satisfaction at work and in life in general.
For Employers -
18. Provide Constructive Feedback.
Like mentioned earlier, feedback can help an individual improve his skills and become more satisfied in life.
Organize daily scrums at work where you can acknowledge the hard work of your employees and give them the necessary feedback and suggestions. Doing so can make your employees feel appreciated and create a happier workforce.
19. Brainstorming Sessions.
Conduct brainstorming sessions among your employees to increase creativity and innovation. Brainstorming sessions will also help them interact and collaborate. Furthermore, the work environment will improve, and employees will feel motivated to work.
20. Provide Wellness Programs and Challenges.
Creating wellness initiatives like a step or fitness challenge, or maybe a cycle to work scheme can significantly benefit your workplace as a whole. It can do wonders for the company culture and employee happiness and satisfaction.
21. Create a room only for recreation.
Every company should have a place explicitly dedicated for recreation and refreshment where employees can take a short break from their work, rewind, and have some fun. If your workplace doesn’t have one, providing one can make a difference in the happiness of your workforce.
22. Conduct office events.
Office events provide perfect opportunities for employers to get their employees together and help them bond with each other. They can double as amazing team-building activities which increase employee engagement and improve team morale. Celebrate holidays and festivals with your employees and create an enjoyable environment at work.
23. Take your employees out on outings.
Want to create a work environment where everyone is engaged, satisfied, and happy? Take your employees out on a team outing.
A team outing will foster unity and solidarity among your workforce. Most importantly, your employees will love it, and it will do great to increase happiness at work.
24. Office decor and ergonomics are essential.
Office decor and workplace ergonomics play an important role in determining employee creativity and productivity. Brightly painted walls, comfortable chairs, inspirational quotes and images on the walls, etc. can all help you create a sense of motivation and happiness in your workplace.
25. Offer free healthy snacks and lunches.
What better way to promote good nutritional habits among your employees than to provide them with free healthy meals? The availability of fresh and healthy snacks and lunches at work will make sure your employees avoid junk food items at work. Moreover, everybody will be happy at the thought of getting free food!
26. Provide flexible hours to your employees.
Be open to providing flexible work hours and remote options for your employees. Flexible schedules significantly increase employee productivity and morale. They allow a level of freedom to create their work schedules and achieve work-life balance. Also, by offering such options, you can attract and retain better talent to work for your company.
27. Provide training and mentoring sessions.
Offer training programs and mentoring sessions in your workplace. They will help to make your employees more motivated and make sure they give their best effort at work. Your employees will also be able to improve their skills and feel more confident in their jobs.
What makes you feel happy at work? Feel free to post your comments below.
Decoding and Driving Employee Engagement