Happiness, and Why it is Important at Work

One can assume that because work isn’t directly tied to your personal life, it might not be important to be happy at your job. It may just be a 9-5, get in, get out, type of relationship. But, being happy at work comes with a number of benefits – for both you and your company.

For your company…

For one, research by Annie McKee for the Harvard Business Review shows that happy people are better workers who are more engaged. They also work harder. Additionally, happy people are more engaged with colleagues and co-workers, improving the office environment all around.

Being happy at work allows people to make good decisions meant for the well-being of the company, work well in teams, and make an effort – be that making an effort to make a meeting productive, complete a project on time, or go the extra mile for a client. Plus, being happy facilitates creativity and collaboration. Both of these go into successful business relationships and business outcomes.

For you…

On a more personal level, being happy at work is likely to improve the quality of the rest of your life, as well. If you have comfortable, enjoyable work relationships with co-workers and your boss, you bring these relationships into the rest of your life. For adults, one of the best (and primary) places to make friends is at work. Having a work environment that facilitates these relationships provides you with people you want on your team, and people you want to spend time with outside of work.

Aside from friends, being happy at work leads to other personal benefits. If work isn’t a place you dread, you will have a more positive outlook. Positivity (and happiness, in general) are associated with better health and well-being.

Unfortunately, major depressive disorder affects 17.3 million adult Americans (keep in mind, that is just Americans). Said depression typically co-occurs with other illnesses or medical conditions. And, a lot of the time, displeasure and dissatisfaction with work can lead to depression, mood swings, and general unhappiness. This contributes to depressive disorders and to other health problems that are associated with unhappiness – weight gain, social withdrawal, and mental illnesses.

Contrarily, if one enjoys their job, they are typically more engaged and interested. They think creatively, they engage in their work and other social activities outside of work, and they pursue new opportunities for both fun and learning – two things that benefit the company, as well.

How to Be Happy…

There are a few things we have found that contribute to happiness at work:

  • Enjoyable co-workers play a huge role in making a positive impact on your work environment. When working on a team of people that you enjoy, you are more engaged, have more supportive relationships, and are more successful. Having a supportive and friendly boss is also beneficial, providing a better work environment.
  • Engaging work is one of the most important parts of having an enjoyable job. Variety in projects, day-to-day work, and activities is vital to feeling successful, learning, and improving your position. Engaging work can lead to the opportunity to pursue a new career, expand your current career, or reach a promotional goal.
  • Adequate pay, while not the most important aspect of being satisfied in your work, alleviates stress and allows you to enjoy your position. With the stress of money difficulties removed from the equation, people feel more free to spend time learning, enjoying their work, and offering new ideas and projects to their departments and the company as a whole.

Let’s Look at the Big Picture…

Finally, while everyone has bad days at work, it is important to look at the big picture. If, in general, you are happy at work, committed to the company and the company’s mission, and enjoy your co-workers, work, and boss, it is likely that you have found yourself a good job. As we mentioned previously, being happy has considerable benefits for your physical health, mental health, and the performance of the company.

Here at Office Upgraded, we know it can be hard to stay happy at work and enjoy your day-to-day tasks. That is why we have put together a number of articles on setting up your home office, dealing with conflict at work, and working on a team. We hope to inspire you to improve your home office, become more productive at work, and enjoy both your job and your home life.

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