Effective Techniques of Staying Happy at Work

| 6 min read
Effective Techniques of Staying Happy at Work

Discover how to become happier at work

Happy employees are more productive at work. When you are happy at work, your level of productivity increases by 12%. What does this mean for you as an employee? It means that to perform optimally at work, you have to be happy. To put this into perspective, a study of 142 countries with approximately 180 million employees revealed that only 13% of employees are happy at work.

Happy employee

Happiness is a state of mind you can achieve through a number of techniques and habits, which you can cultivate. Below are tips to take you closer to staying happy at work.

Set up a reward system

Friends at the beach

If you set up a system of personally rewarding yourself for the work you get done, you are bound to be happier. This reward can come in a wide range of activities, items or things that appeal to you. For instance, you could decide to treat yourself to a session at the spa as a reward system. Other rewards can include attending a red carpet event, having dinner with friends, registering at the gym, going to the beach with friends, going to a karaoke bar, going shopping or any other activity or something you really enjoy but don’t get to do often.

This is bound to have a positive impact on your mood and by extension, give your productivity a boost.

Don’t stay glued to your seat

Sitting for long hours

If you work in an office, then it is really important that you get off your desk from time to time. It’s worse if your job is the kind that had the tendency of keeping you glued to your seat for 5 to 6 hours at a stretch. You have to break this happy if you want to stay happy at work.

Moving around the office from time to time is very good for your health and happiness.

Personalise your workspace

Quote cards and frames on a desk

As an employee, it is only natural that you spend a lot of time in your workspace within the office. To raise your happiness level, you can try personalising your workspace. To achieve this, transform it into a place you are very comfortable with. For example, if you are into quotes, you can get quotes cards for your desk. You could also have pillows, frames, Rubik’s cube or a live plant. Make it as comfortable as you want but remember not to overdo it. As you decorate your workspace, you should ensure the items you intend to put up do not go against the organisation’s policies.

The more comfortable you are in your workspace, the happier you would be.

Smile more

Smiling at work

As harmless as a smile appears to be, it works wonders for your happiness. When you smile, your brain releases neuropeptides. Smiling on purpose helps people feel better. Scientifically, smiling on purpose changes brain chemistry.

Smiling facilitates messaging to the whole body when we are happy, sad, angry, depressed, excited. The feel-good neurotransmitters dopamine, endorphins and serotonin are all released when a smile flashes across your face.

Therefore, smiling improves your happiness and easily makes people around you smile as well. When you smile, people treat you differently. You are viewed as attractive, reliable, relaxed and sincere.

Don’t take your personal problems to work

Unhappy employee

It is inevitable that there are times when you have personal problems and issues to deal with. It is best that you resolve these issues before you leave your home. Why is this important? If you do not resolve your personal problems before you get to work, it will interfere with your happiness because you are bound to be stressed. Stress is one thing you really want to avoid if your aim is to stay happy.

You should always try to keep work and personal matters separate so that it does not impact negatively on your productivity.

Keep an open mind

At work, you are bound to run into co-workers who do not share your ideals or have a different way of getting things done, which you might not agree with. Rather than trying so hard to change them, embrace them for who they are.

At work, it’s important that you maintain a professional stance and language when dealing with difficult colleagues. Focus on the tasks that need to get done and dwell less on their personality traits.

You need an office buddy

Office friend

When you have a favourite colleague at work, you have a tendency to be happier than if you don’t. According to a study, employees who had not just friends but best friends in the office were more likely to feel happier and more successful at work. They also felt like their company made them feel important.

In the Harvard Business Review, Christine Riordan states that workers who “have friends at work perceive their job as more fun, enjoyable, worthwhile, and satisfying.” Furthermore, having friends at work can create a support system, comradery and a sense of loyalty.

Develop a huge ambition

Ambitious employee

According to Harvard Professor, Teresa Amabile, when you have a goal, it contributes in no small measure to the level of happiness you experience at work.

By setting big goals, you become excited by the gravitational pull that this goal creates. What happens is that the excitement you experience will prompt you to take actions that steer you towards this ambition. Regardless of whether we eventually achieve the goal or not, your life becomes significantly enriched by this new mode of living.


Music at work

When at work, you can listen to music that makes you happy. When it comes to music, a particular song will not generate the same kind of vibes or emotions in everyone. The secret is to find the songs that work for you.

By listening to different types of music, you can successfully improve your short-term moods and overall happiness. It is, however, left for you decide if it is ‘Until We Go Down’ by Ruelle that makes you happy or if you prefer ‘Bubble Up’ by Cynthia Morgan.

Stay hydrated and eat balanced meals

By eating balanced diets and drinking sufficient water while at work, your mood is bound to improve. It’s a simple formula – A healthy body produces a healthy mind and a healthy mind produces a general feeling of well-being.

To stay happy at work, you should focus more on activities that constantly put a smile on your face. Happiness is not an automated state of mind.

What’s your happiness score at work between 0 and 10?

Samod Biobaku
A Nigeria-based writer and blogger who has written and edited for top brands including The SUN, Punch, Newswatch, Pulse.ng, Bigsam Media, Nigerian Bulletin, Swish Interativ, Hello Nigeria, National LIFE, iCampus, Jobberman and Cheki.


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