How To Be Happy at Work (And Why It's Important)

By Indeed Editorial Team

Updated September 19, 2022 | Published September 29, 2021

Updated September 19, 2022

Published September 29, 2021

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

Figuring out how to be happy at work is important because how you feel and relate to others can affect your productivity and overall job satisfaction. When you're happy at work, people may find you to be more approachable, allowing you to build an extensive professional network. Understanding how to improve your mood at work can help you advance your career. In this article, we discuss job happiness and why it's important and explore 14 ways to be happy at work.

What is job happiness and why is it important?

Job happiness reflects how you feel when you're at work. While external factors can influence how you feel, you can always interact with your coworkers with a positive attitude. Your tone and choice of words can create a happier workplace because you can choose to use words that are positive, supportive, and encouraging to everyone around you so they can perform at their best.

It's important to be happy at work because how you feel can affect how you interact with others while you perform your tasks. If you share your happiness with others, then they might see you as being approachable and trustworthy. When supervisors hear that you're easy to approach, they may acknowledge your leadership skills with new assignments or more responsibilities, and you can advance your career.

How to be happy at work in 14 steps

You can use these 14 steps when learning how to be happy at work and to create good habits:

1. Honour your time

Honouring your time means knowing the value of your work and the time it takes you to complete it. This may make you feel happy at work because you can plan to have enough time to complete all your tasks. If you follow a schedule, then you can set times in which you need to complete specific tasks and give yourself enough time to complete them. For example, you can turn off notifications on your phone to reduce distraction and help you focus to reduce the amount of time you need to spend on each task.

2. Appreciate your colleagues

Showing you appreciate your colleagues can be as simple as asking them a question that relates to their hobbies. You can show them you're interested in their hobbies and build a happy work relationship. For example, if you know your colleague likes trying new food, you can ask them about whether they visited any new restaurants or tried cooking a new recipe over the weekend.

Read more: Building Relationships: Benefits, Tips, and How-To Guide

3. Frame obstacles as solutions

Framing an obstacle or challenge as a solution may give you a different view of the problem so you can figure out a way to surpass it and be happier working through the process. For example, you can write that you want to share your ideas in meetings and aim to become comfortable raising the volume of your voice so everyone can hear you. Then you can work backward and practise controlling the volume of your voice.

4. Thank everyone as often as possible

Thanking everyone lets them know how much you appreciate their efforts. When they feel appreciated for the work they have done, then they might offer to complete more tasks, and this happiness in the workplace might translate into increased productivity. If your team is excelling because you have created a space to be happy in the workplace, then your team or workplace may recognize you for your leadership abilities, which can improve your access to career opportunities.

Read more: How To Thank Someone for Their Time

5. Prepare for your success

Preparing for your success helps you communicate your goals as you learn more about where you draw your limits and where you can push your boundaries. By aligning your goals with your passions, you can learn about yourself, and you may achieve more than you expected. For example, you can spend less time watching travel documentaries and reallocate that time to learning a new language because you want to work for an international company.

6. Respect everyone you meet

Being respectful can create a happier workplace because people can respond well to empathy and compassion. By demonstrating humility, you may get to learn more about them in the process. A way to show your open-minded approach is to ask open-ended questions. For example, you can ask them how they arrived at a different conclusion.

Related: 11 Examples of Effective Probing Questions to Improve Your Communication Skills

7. Celebrate when you win

Celebrating when you win is a way of marking your achievement and sharing it with your support network. You can motivate yourself and share a quick note of how you feel about your achievement and why it's important to you. For example, if you earned a certificate, let your colleagues know you're happy because you can apply the knowledge you gained to a specific process to help them be happier at work.

Read more: Motivational Skills: What They Are and How To Use Them

8. Share your unique abilities and passions

Sharing what makes you unique is about helping other people understand your abilities and passions. You can start with an ability that sets you apart from the crowd and follow it with a recent discovery that gets you passionate for discussion. For example, you can share your love of learning new skills and then quote information from a recent lesson that was interesting and ask other people how they interpret it.

Related: How to Find Your Passion in 13 Steps (and Why It Matters)

9. Join a social group

Joining a social group can help you be happy at work because you're spending time with people who share a common interest. You can start by browsing the list of available groups to join at your workplace and making a note of any that you're finding interesting. For example, maybe there's a vacant position on the diversity and equity committee, and you can find who else has joined it and then ask them how they enjoy being in the group and if they can introduce you.

10. Encourage collaboration between team members

Collaborating to share responsibilities with your team members can help you be happier working together because everyone plays to their strengths. You can encourage someone quick at one task to ask for help from someone who excels in another area. To get an understanding of where their strengths and limitations are, you can ask them to write down three tasks they find easy and three tasks they spend a lot of time with and keep their lists for reference.

Read more: Collaboration Skills: Definition and Examples

11. Find a reason to care

Finding a purpose in your activities can lead to being happy at work because you care. You can ask yourself how you prioritize your workflow and why you sequence it that way. For example, you may rank answering emails above filing because you enjoy connecting directly to customers and helping them to resolve their concerns.

12. Ask for feedback

Asking for feedback is an important aspect of growing your professional career because you can focus on your technical skills. It's also a good way to show that you're open to suggestions, which can lead to a happier workplace where people are comfortable sharing insights. You can request feedback by sending your supervisor a note after your next meeting to ask how they think you presented during the meeting and areas where you can improve.

13. Consider your long-term goals

Considering your long-term goals is taking into account where you want to be in the future and then working backward to the present. If your goal is to be a supervisor in three years, then to work backward can be to decide on which leadership courses and company training you can take. You can also let your own supervisor know your plan and ask them for advice to achieve it.

Related: 30 of the Happiest Careers to Explore (With Salaries)

14. Rest and replenish your energy

Resting is important to be happy at work because spending your energy means replenishing it too. You might get some fresh air, take a moment to relax, or you can change the scene. For example, if you're working at a computer, you can try to go outside for some fresh air and exercise for 10 minutes.

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