Why being happy at work matters

Are you sad when you’re on the clock? Stop it. There’s no reason to be. In fact, there’s every reason not to be. Studies have shown that being a happier employee leads to all sorts of benefits both in and out of the workplace, giving you all the more incentive to figure out how to get happy.

Is this your face at work? (HowToFindaJobin10Days, Getty)

Is this your face at work? (HowToFindaJobin10Days, Getty)

The times, they are a-changin’. As more companies offer flexible workdays, home work options and relaxed workplaces, the line between work life and home life is blurring. With roughly 90,000 hours spent at work over a lifetime, it’s easy to start feeling dissatisfied in general when your professional situation is less than ideal and it spills over into your personal life. But if you’re enjoying work, you may find yourself happier overall.

You ain’t never had a friend like me. Though there’s a small comfort in blaming your professional unhappiness on lazy coworkers, a terrible boss or menial tasks, at the end of the day the only thing you can control is yourself. So why not work on your happiness? Being frustrated, angry and stressed lead employees to shut down and become disengaged. Conversely, engaged employees make better decisions and are consistently rated as happy at work.

Happy employees are also more likely to have friends at work because they are more fun to be around. More positive work relationships translate into better teamwork, and in an environment that often breeds tension and grudges, it’s very important to reduce negative interactions as often as possible.

Be happy, be healthy. According to UC Berkley, an entire industry has recently formed around the benefits of happiness. Each contributor asks: why bother? The answer: In addition to providing professional, personal and productivity benefits, happiness and health go hand in hand. The virtuous cycle of the two barometers includes benefits such as a more protected heart, a strengthened immune system, less stress and a longer life.

Step into my office. If all the above benefits aren’t reason enough to step up your happiness game, what about this: you could get a promotion. Multiple studies point to this being a result of elevated mood in the workplace. Happy employees exhibit 31 percent higher productivity, perform 20 percent better than their unhappy counterparts and are 40 percent more likely to receive a promotion. Simple changes in your daily routine, your interactions with your coworkers and your at-task habits could get you a good deal closer to that big raise and the corner office.

Are you convinced? Being a happier employee can lead to improvements in your personal life, better relations with your coworkers, better health and raises or promotions. Hopping on the happy bandwagon is easier than you might think. Read the follow-up article for some easy-to-implement techniques to put a smile on your face.

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