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The importance of happiness at work

Published: Monday 21st September 2020

Although people used to believe that you didn’t have to be happy at work to succeed, things have changed. The myth that feelings don’t matter at work, has long been blown up. Moreover, long gone is the notion that work is a place where you are only meant to come in, get the job done and clock out, as numerous surveys can confirm the importance of happiness at work. Therefore, happiness at work should be on the top-priorities’ list of all companies and employers. And that’s why the last week of September has been declared as the international Week of Happiness at Work.

But why is happiness at work all that important?

There are countless benefits to working at a job that makes you happy. When we are unhappy our brains tend to disengage, decreasing our capacity for creativity and critical thinking. Happiness in the workplace can improve your work output and as a result, boost your career success. Productivity tends to be the name of the game when it comes to professional improvement. In fact according to a study, happiness at work can cause productivity levels to rise up to 12%.

Portrait of business woman walking and smiling outdoor, happiness at work concept.

Furthermore, happiness has been associated with better health and a stronger immune system. Being happy promotes a range of lifestyle habits that are important for overall health, including healthier diets. It also minimises workplace stress that links to several health problems. In addition, people who experience happiness at work tend to see the bigger picture. They tend to be better at coping with and recovering from work strain as well as at reconciling conflict.

Socially, people who are happy at work are rated by others as more likable, trustworthy, and more effective leaders. Most importantly, at happier workplaces, people are also more helpful to each other and more supportive of one another during difficult times. Not to mention of course that happiness at work is synonymous to skipping the endless distress of the Sunday night blues, the Monday morning misery, the Tuesday terrors and so on… So, if you’re looking for ways to genuinely be happy at work here are a few ideas that you can start implementing from today onwards.

Give yourself some fun rewards

If you don’t really enjoy the things on the to-do list in front of you, try incentivising yourself. Think along the lines of: “If I finish this project, then I can go get a cupcake from the place down the street” You could even create a rewards jar to stay motivated for weeks to come!

Discussion of ideas, happy team, smiling and talking at the office

Meditation makes you happy, science says

You might think that meditation is slightly overrated, but that doesn’t mean its effects aren’t real. A Harvard Medical School study has shown that participants who had never practiced meditation but began to, experienced stronger emotional control, as well as mental and emotional enhancements. So, close your office door, set a timer for 5 minutes, close your eyes, and just breathe!

Help a colleague out

Research continues to show that altruism can actually make us feel happier. When you prioritise lending a hand to a colleague in need, you create a healthy mental reward system for yourself that promotes self-satisfaction.

Get a new job

If your current job makes you unhappy it can be crucially harmful to your mental well-being. Feeling truly unfulfilled and overly stressed at work, are clear signs it’s time to get a new job. So, if you’re ready to move on to pastures new, visit Zoek and start applying today to find a job that will fit right into your lifestyle!

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