WORKPLACE / AUG. 17, 2014
version 3, draft 3

Study Finds That Being Happier Makes You More Productive

Productivity is key within the workplace. As well, our happiness is key for our personal well-being. A study published this year, found that when we’re happier, we’re more productive. So how do we increase our personal happiness, in order to increase productivity?

University of Warwick Study

The findings from ’Happiness and Productivity,’ were published on February 10, 2014, displaying the correlation between one’s happiness and productivity levels.

Researchers from the department of Economics conducted four different experiments with over 700 participants. One of the professors said, "Companies like Google have invested more in employee support and employee satisfaction has risen as a result. For Google, it rose by 37% - they know what they are talking about. Under scientifically controlled conditions, making workers happier really pays off.”

Within the first three studies, randomly selected individuals were made happier. It was found that treated individuals (e.g. those who were given chocolate, fruit, and drinks) were approximately 12% more productive. When individuals were given snacks for example, productivity levels increased by around 20% for a short period of time, while concentrated work was completed.

Within the fourth study, real-life situations were accessed in terms of bereavement and family illness. The lower happiness levels were then associated with lower productivity levels. This is consistent with the link between our well-being and performance levels.

Issues With Happiness and How to Make Changes

The following are some of the main reasons why employees are not as happy as they could be. In order to make yourself happier, you will need to actively make changes within your career and overall life.  

Issue One: Not Feeling Valued and Appreciated

Many employees do not feel as though they’re valued within their current career. If you are someone that feels as though your skills and hard word are being under appreciated, do something about it. In reality, team leaders should be effectively making their employees feel valued. It takes very little effort to acknowledge someone’s hard work.

If this sounds like your work environment, approach whoever is in charge. You do not need to go whine to your supervisor, but just explain that you and maybe others do not feel as though you’re getting proper credit for your work. If this fails, it is in your power to look elsewhere. If you are good at what you do, you should be somewhere that appreciates your efforts.

According to a new study from The Energy Project, employees that feel more appreciated are 13 times more likely to stay within their career. It was also found that these appreciated employees were 67% more engaged. This happier, more productive environment benefits everyone. If you are a leader yourself, make sure you’re conscious of your colleagues efforts. Make it known that they’re valued.

Issue Two: Don’t Find Meaning In One’s Chosen Career

Many people are working away to live, yet they’re not actually living. It’s vital to love what you do, finding meaning in your work. Although you may not have a job that feels like it changes the world, it has meaning. If there was not a particular purpose for your career, you wouldn’t have a job.

Focus on the positives within your career, who do you impact and how? What aspects of your day bring you enjoyment; focus on those moments. Can you incorporate those moments more into your everyday working life?

If you truly do not believe that your career brings meaning and purpose to your life, make a change. Once again, focus on what makes you happy. What brings you meaning? Start exploring options that would enrich your life.

Issue Three: Becoming ’Burnt Out’

You need to separate yourself from work once in a while. Constantly working tends to burn us out. It is not uncommon for some individuals to work 50+ hours a week. This is extremely hard on our physical, mental, and emotional well-being.

In order to not burn out, you need to effectively separate yourself and disengage. You need to go home at a reasonable hour, achieving proper work-life balance. It is also crucial that you take breaks throughout your work day. It has been found that employees who take a short break every 90 minutes, actually improved their concentration and focus by 30%.

To prevent burning out, make sure you live a healthy lifestyle. Get enough sleep, exercise, and eat right. Basically, take care of yourself. You can not work full-time living off coffee and cake. Start getting involved and interested in your health. In order to live a healthier life, please feel free to read to the article, ’How to MaintainYour Health While Working Full- Time.’

Tips to Be Happier In Terms of Your Attitude and Actions

If your job is not fulfilling, then you can make the necessary changes. Sometimes the only option is to quit. However, if you’re not feeling happy, you may also need to focus on your own personal mindset. The following are some tips to improve your happiness levels in terms of your attitude.

1.     Be Optimistic: Even in your dream job, you will have bad days. It’s how you view and handle these bad days that makes all the difference. Stay optimistic and learn from your mistakes. As mentioned, you need to focus on the aspects of your job that bring you enjoyment.

2.     Be Grateful: You may not like every aspect of your job, but it provides you with the things you need. Think of the benefits that your job brings, making you feel grateful for the things you have. There are many people that do not have a job at all.

3.     Don’t Focus On the Negative Colleagues: If there are people that negatively affect your work environment, you do not need that to damper your work day. If people rub you the wrong way, you do not need to focus on them. Spend time around people that positively impact your life.

4.     Stick Up For Yourself: If there is someone that is creating a negative work environment for you, the problem needs to be confronted. You should not tolerate being harassed in any way, by co-workers or management. Stand up for yourself, approaching the situation in a mature fashion. Being self-confident is crucial, do not let anyone try and hinder your confidence.

5.     Don’t Gossip: So much unnecessary drama is created through gossiping. Simply be friendly and respect the people around you. If you involve yourself in a negative, critical environment, it will be a less enjoyable one.

Being happier and more productive is a win-win situation. It is great for the company you work for, as well as yourself. Work on your attitude and take action. You are in control of your future and your happiness. When you are more productive at work, you’re more likely to advance and be successful. Happiness is key in the workplace and for your personal well-being. Take control, improving productivity levels, while being an overall happier person. 

Photo credit: deeplifequotes

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