Happiness at Work: 10 Tips for How to Be Happy at Work

The Science behind happiness at workHow often do you consider quitting your job and feel that you are not getting paid enough for the dedication and service you offer your organization?

Happiness and satisfaction are subjective concepts – while for some of us monetary benefits can be equated with job satisfaction, some might strive for recognition of their hard work and lose motivation on failing to achieve so.

For some people, having a friendly environment at work is an essential requisite for deriving pleasure. No matter what the standards are, being content with our careers is crucial for maintaining the ‘work-life’ balance.

The University of Warwick, UK, in one of their studies revealed that happy workers are up to 12% more productive than unhappy professionals. They are more likely to be the proud owner of good health, have smooth flowing professional and personal relationships, and prove to be more beneficial for the organization as a whole (Oswald, Proto, & Sgroi, 2015).

In this article, we will take an in-depth look into the aspects of happiness at work, understand why it is vital to maintaining work motivation, and discuss some of the essential and cutting-edge techniques for deriving the maximum happiness at work.

“Out of every goal human beings want to attain, happiness is usually the greatest.”

Tom Miles

Before you continue, we thought you might like to download our three Positive Psychology Exercises for free. These science-based exercises will explore fundamental aspects of positive psychology including strengths, values, and self-compassion, and will give you the tools to enhance the wellbeing of your clients, students, or employees.

What Is Workplace Happiness?

Have you heard of the word “Arbedjsglæde”?

Arbedjsglæde means the happiness that we derive from ‘doing’ something. It is an emotion, a sense of wellbeing that comes when we feel good about the work we do when we feel involved in the ‘professional commitment.’ Arbedjsglæde is a common word in Denmark, which means happiness at work. In a fundamental sense, workplace happiness comes when:

  • We enjoy doing the tasks assigned to us
  • We feel right about the people we are working with
  • We are happy with the financial benefits we get from the job
  • We have the scope of improving our existing skills
  • We feel respected and acknowledged at work

Happiness at work is not the sum of proper investment and good returns; it is more than that. Individual factors like personality traits, level of perception, underlying psychological stressors, and emotional intelligence influence the degree to which we feel comfortable in a professional situation.

In the book, “The Happiness Advantage,” author Shawn Achor (2011) stated that a company with happy employees could increase their sales by 37%, productivity by 31%, which directly contribute toward building a high-performance work environment and improves the quality of life for all people involved with the work.

Diagram illustrating factors of Happiness at Work
Happiness at Work – The Building Blocks

The Importance of Happiness at Work

The concept of happiness at work was not there until a few decades ago, and there is a reason for that. In the last few years, we have seen drastic changes in the industrial sector – we now work in positions that did not exist twenty years ago.

Who could have thought of designations like Social Media Manager, SEO Expert, Chief Happiness Officer, Motivational Coach and Speaker, Career Counselor, or Project Coordinator in the 40s and 50s?

With such a wide range of complex tasks that we have to choose from today, it is only essential that we can extract the true happiness from the work we devote ourselves to. Happy employees are compulsory for a growing business.

The iOpener Institute, in one of their studies on organizational success, revealed that employees who feel happy in the workplace are 65% more energetic than employees who don’t (iOpener Institute, n.d.). They are two times more productive and are more likely to sustain their jobs over a long period of time.

Workplace Happiness Matters

Job Satisfaction and happiness

Being happy may be an important factor in our job performance (Bellet et al., 2019).

A happy worker will reach the office on time because they respect punctuality and will perform all the daily tasks because they enjoy doing it. They will work out of love, not out of compulsion.

1. Happiness is related to success

Happiness at work can spread like fire. Employees who feel pleasure in doing their work form a great example to others who are less motivated.

For example, when a team leader is happy with their position and work, they can influence their team with more positivity and maintain great functionality in the group. Happiness in the workplace is related to increased productivity and better group performance at work (Oswald et al., 2015).

2. Happiness Builds Positivity

A troubled mind can be the storehouse of negative contemplations. When we work out of compulsion and don’t feel passionate about the contribution we make to the organization’s success, our mind starts wearing.

We become stressed, lose focus, and indulge self-deprecating thoughts like “I have to quit”, “I cannot take it anymore”, “I am not worth it”, etc. On the contrary, a professional who has strong positive feelings about his job will undoubtedly be more enthusiastic and focus on building himself. Rather than focusing on the problems, he would look into ways of solving it.

3. Happiness Reduces Stress

Annie Mckee, an International Leadership advisor, and writer, in one of her publications in the Harvard Business Review, mentioned that when employees are unhappy, their brain starts to disconnect from the positive emotions, and damages their power of creative thinking and reasoning (Mckee, 2017a).

She further said in her article on the link between our thoughts, feelings, and actions (Mckee, 2017a). If any of these breaks down, it is sure to hamper the others. If we feel happy in the 8 hours that we spend at work, if somehow we can hit the strings of positivity that will keep us uplifted, it can remarkably improve our responses to stress and redirect our focus to the positive aspects of the work-life.

4. Happiness at Work means a Healthy Life

If we allow the work stress and disappointments to enter into our personal space, there is no way that we can get rid of them.

Successful professionals who can optimize their work are less likely to suffer from hypertension, cardiac arrests, substance abuse, and other stress-related disorders (Frone, 1999; Kivimäki & Kawachi, 2015; Rosenthal & Alter, 2012).

When we are happy from inside, we get that power to fight diseases and the will to recover and get back on track.

Remaining physically or mentally sick can bring unprecedented hurdles even at work. We lose the energy to give it our best shot, become less focused on work and more focused on the woes, and consequently, kill our productive soul.

Not just that, happiness at work also makes us less prone to work-related stress and burdens.

5. Happiness at Work Increases Likeability

We all like to stay around people who have a positive attitude and look content with themselves. In a happy state of mind, people are more innovative and inspired. They are willing to improve their existing skills and contributes toward creating a fun and creative performance culture at work.

Finding happiness in work helps in building strong interpersonal relationships at work and encourage people to work together for the common welfare of the organization they are serving. It is the backbone for innovation, loyalty, responsibility, and success.

Happy workers can create a pleasant environment at work that is easy for others to cope in, and the more people get into it, the better the team grows.

Dyfed Loesche, an eminent statistical and data journalist, in one of his publications about countries having the best and the worst work-life balance, mentioned that the Netherlands is one of the happiest countries concerning the work-life balance (OECD Better Life Index, n.d.).

His interactive chart (given below) represents the countries that have great work-life balance, starting with the one that has the happiest working population.

Countries with the Best Work-Life Balance
Image via The Statistics Portal

The Science Behind Happiness At Work

Happiness is a strong positive emotion and is a fundamental human experience (Diener & Diener, 1996). Since ages, happiness has been an intriguing aspect of research and history, however, a relatively recent inclusion in the field of psychology (McMahon, 2006).

Positive psychology, or the science of happiness, which became popular in the past decade, was the first step by mental health professionals to gauge the importance of joy in different walks of life (Seligman & Csikszentmihalyi, 2000).

The investigation of joy, or positive brain science, is a more extensive part of regular brain research and comparatively contemporary. Until several years ago, psychological research was tied in with taking care of mental problems and taking life back to the regularity (Seligman & Csikszentmihalyi, 2000).

However, positive psychology isn’t just remedial – it involves enhancing what is correct rather than correcting what is wrong. Positive Psychology ended up well known after 1998 with the spearheading work of Dr. Martin Seligman and Dr. Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi who built it up as the pathway of finding the satisfaction that we all aim to get in our lives.

The 4 Approaches To Life

Much like the famous saying that beauty lies in the eyes of the beholder, positive psychology propagates that the way we see life is the way it becomes. According to Dr. Tal Ben-Shahar, a leading psychology writer and lecturer, there are four approaches to life (Fabian, n.d.):

  1. The Hedonic Approach – Where a person is concerned more about his pleasures and means to satisfy them. An egocentric attitude, Hedonic followers cannot refrain from guilty pleasures (for example binge eating or oversleeping) even after knowing the detriments.
  2. The Rat Race Approach – Where we are concerned about what is good for us and continue seeking selfish goals. It is an egocentric and competitive approach in the sense that the followers may choose to overlook the benefits of others as long as they are helping themselves.
  3. The Nihilistic Approach – Mostly seen in depressed and stressed individuals, the nihilistic approach is entirely pessimistic and caters to indulging negative thoughts. A negative person fails to divert his attention from the worries and mishaps of life and lacks the motivation to reconcile from stress.
  4. The Positive Approach – It is believed to be the way that leads to happiness and contentment. A positive approach is where people can uncover the right balance between ‘I want to’ and ‘I have to’ and focus on building their qualities. The positive approach is in all its essence, purely solution focused, goal oriented, and the direct pathway to happiness at work.

In The Work Design Questionnaire (Morgeson & Humphrey, 2006) they recognized the following factors to be associated with happiness at work:

  1. Workplace autonomy and the freedom to decide
  2. Task variations and scope for creative ideas
  3. Task significance
  4. Recognition for work
  5. Task difficulty
  6. Professional skills and specialization
  7. Social support within the workplace
  8. Feedback from superiors
  9. Environmental conditions at work
  10. Business management and networking channels

A Look at the Research

Making happiness a part of the performance culture, reputed organizations like Google and McDonalds have specific posts allotted for Chief Happiness Officers (CHOs). Their job is to spread positivity and work on maintaining the motivation of the workforce.

In 1999, before Google had employed their first CHO Chade-Meng Tan, a French fashion brand Kiabi hired a professional as the Happiness Officer. That was one of the earliest advancements in the field and after the massive success of Google and their motivational CHO Meng, recruiting happiness officers became a culture for companies in different sectors (Cooper & Robertson, 2018).

Dr. Christine Carter, a senior research associate at the University of California, mentioned in one of her research publications that happiness, whether at work or in life, is not just about deriving the feeling of satisfaction.

She said that happiness is not the feeling that comes from getting or doing what we want to, instead, it is the ability to access an array of positive emotions like optimism, gratitude, etc., and consciously choosing to implement them in life.

From her findings, it is evident that being happy at work doesn’t mean universal acceptance or the complete absence of negative stress; it is just the power through which we can widen our perspective and bounce back from negativities (Carter, 2010).

Happy employees are an excellent investment for successful companies. Studies show that when positive individuals run an organization, it is more likely to gain financially and flourish in the long term.

Research at the University of Warwick has estimated that workplace happiness increases productivity up to 12%. Happy workers are a guarantee for more productivity, more innovation, and less conflict (Oswald, Proto, & Sgroi, 2015).

Workplace Happiness And Personality Styles

Workplace Happiness

In a study carried out by Robertson Cooper Limited, it was established that the ‘feel-good factor’ that an employee derives from his work and workplace is by all means dependent on their persona.

The study was conducted on a large sample of around 3200 employees from various organizations, and the results revealed that (Robertson & Cooper, n.d.):

  1. Employees who felt good at work and had better working days scored high on positive emotions and low on emotions like loneliness, hopelessness, depression, and insecurities
  2. The percentage of employees who had high scores on positive emotions were found to be more productive, more satisfied with their jobs, and healthier than others
  3. People who scored high on positive emotions were more compassionate and empathetic towards their colleagues and subordinates
  4. Employees who showed traits of depression, stress, and emotional vulnerabilities were less motivated, unwilling to improve their skills, and showed signs of unhealthy interpersonal connections at work.

That personality disposition is a major contributing factor in determining workplace happiness was the primary objective of this study, and the findings indicated the same.

Professor Cynthia D Fisher (2010), Ph. D. an eminent researcher in the Bond University, Australia, published an extensive report on her establishments about happiness at the workplace. She stated that what we regard as happiness at the workplace is dependent on constructs associated with socially acceptable judgment and consequences.

She defined happiness at work to be a combination of the level at which these constructs exist, the durability of their existence, and the specific quality of each construct.

The Table Of Happiness Constructs In The Workplace

According to Prof Fisher’s studies (2010), the following constructs determine the level of happiness an individual extracts from his work:

Momentary Constructs Personal Constructs Collective Constructs
1. Sudden emotion-provoking incidents 1. Personality disposition of the individual 1. Group commitment to the task
2. Temporary mood state 2. Level of commitment to the organization and the role the employee plays in it 2. Team morale and encouragement
3. Flow state 3. Mental Involvement in the job and the sense of responsibility to accomplish the assigned tasks 3. Group mood and group cohesiveness
4. Emotions dominating at the moment 4. Overall job satisfaction 4. Interpersonal connections and group management
5. The current level of interest in the task 5. Affective regulation at work 5. Recognition for performance and effective feedback from team leaders/supervisors.

How to be Happy at Work

“Happiness is a direction, not a place”

Sydney J. Harris

When workplace happiness is quantified by hedonic pleasures like positive experiences every day, appreciation, and job satisfaction, the joy derived can be short-lived.

Workplace happiness is more than subjective experience. It is not a by-product of external factors like appreciation or incentives; it comes from the way we choose to manage our thoughts, actions, and reactions on a daily basis.

1. Self-Reward

We don’t always have to wait for rewards from the team leaders. If you know that you have done your part and given it your best, go ahead and give yourself some incentive. Small rewards given to the self can increase work engagement that is directly connected to persistence, energy, enthusiasm, and pride (Macey & Schneider, 2008).

2. Responsibility

We are entitled to ourselves before anyone else. A happy employee is always willing to take charge of his actions and proactively engage in developing his skills professionally.

Responsibility at Work

3. Job Satisfaction

Job satisfaction is often mistaken to be the same as workplace happiness, though they are two completely independent constructs.

Job satisfaction is a mental state that has both cognitive and affective components (Eagly & Chaiken, 1993), while workplace happiness is purely an affective state that is driven by feelings more than thoughts.

While measuring the level of happiness in employees on a large scale, it was found that job satisfaction played a crucial role in perceiving happiness at work (Locke, 1976).

Widely used job satisfaction scales like the Minnesota Satisfaction Questionnaire (MSQ; Weiss, Dawis, & England, 1967), the Job Descriptive Index (JDI; Smith, Kendall, & Hulin, 1969), the Job in General Scale (Ironson, Smith, Brannick, Gibson, & Paul, 1989), etc., that are used by organizations have shown that employee who score high on job satisfaction also tend to be happier at work (Fisher, 2000).

4. Cognitive Awareness And Flow

Happiness at work means choosing to avoid negative contemplations, gossips (unless they’re positive), and unnecessary judgments.

Happy people can sustain their joy when they focus on their actions and does not let the external negative vibes take a toll on their emotions. The concept of ‘flow’ or ‘flow state’ was used by Abraham Maslow and Carl Rogers in their Humanistic Approaches, and later on, was incorporated into the theories of workplace happiness.

Flow occurs when we are mindful and focus on the task that we are doing in a given moment. It involves skills and intrinsic motivation and is described as exciting, euphoric, and to be providing a deep sense of pleasure.

Flow is attained by sustained focus, high positive affect and requires learning and mastery of skills (Csikszentmihalyi, 1990).

Job Satisfaction

Thought Replacement Worksheet
The Thought Replacement Worksheet published by Veronica Walsh, a CBT expert, is a great self-assessment tool that you can use for evaluating your current thoughts and consciously replacing them with mindfulness.

10 Tips for Finding Real Happiness at Work

Happiness altogether is a highly subjective experience. In a study conducted by Fowler and Christakis (2008) it was found that individuals are likely to feel happier when they have other happy people around them.

Finding happiness at work is not always related to actions and cognitions related to the work itself. It is associated with many other correlates like work environment, personality traits, interpersonal connections, stress management skills, and the list goes on.

Here are ten simple ways that can help us in rediscovering workplace happiness and sustain it for a long time.

1. Declutter your Workplace

The phrase “a cluttered desk means a cluttered mind” is perhaps correct. Getting creative with the workspace can enhance feelings of exhilaration and refresh the mind. It reinforces concentration and is a great way to feel good at work every day.

2. Mindfulness

“People wait all week for Friday, all year for summer, and all life for happiness”

Mindfulness is not a buzzword, neither is it an overrated concept. The effects of mindful meditation are real and proven.

Studies conducted in the Harvard Medical School and the Bender Institute of Neuroimaging in Germany have shown that people who practice mindfulness and meditate before or after working hours feel more connected to and more emotionally stable at work (Hölzel et al., 2011).

3. Work it out

A 15-minute daily workout routine makes the body energetic and releases the toxins that cause the weariness.

Any form of exercise – walking, jogging, cycling, swimming, or anything else, is bound to bring more productivity at work, more energy to give it the best shot, and more fulfilment throughout the day.

4. Engage in Feedback Mechanisms

Decisive and immediate feedback are predictors of workplace happiness and job satisfaction. Studies have shown that employers or supervisors who regularly offer feedback and acknowledge efforts are more successful in having a happy team.

Tips To Embrace Feedback At Work
As an employer As an employee
1. Organize stand-ups every morning where you discuss the daily assignments 1. Ask for feedback
2. Acknowledge hard work and use praise words 2. Accept criticisms positively and focus on improving your skills
3. Offer feedback immediately after the job is done. Delayed feedback does not help 3. Listen actively during meetings and conversations with supervisor/team leader
4. When criticizing, remember to point out the flaws and why you think they should be rectified. If possible, give suggestions and show your teammates how to do it. Set a good example 4. Share feedback with other members of the team who had contributed in the task.

5. Reflect on One Task at a Time

Several scholars have found that multitasking ‘wastes more time’ and can be the reason of unhappiness among professionals at different levels (Ophir, Nass, & Wagner, 2009).

When juggling with various tasks at the same time, it is almost impossible to devote an equal amount of attention to each detail, thereby resulting in distractions.

To avoid this, we can prioritize our to-do list and focus on dealing with the more important tasks first. Applications like AnyDo, Wunderlist, and Evernote has made this easier to accomplish.

6. Help a Colleague

Studies have shown that altruists in the workplace are more likely to feel satisfied and are happier at work (Post, 2005).

The level of happiness that we derive from helping others cannot be equated with anything else in the world. It gives a sense of empowerment, enhances wisdom, and makes us feel more connected to the organization.

Simple acts of kindness, expressions of gratitude, and offering support to colleagues in times of need can make us feel a lot better about ourselves and make us happier at work.

7. Choose your Responses Wisely

Evidence has proved that individuals can voluntarily choose responses that can make them happy at work. Regularly practising mindfulness, gratitude, and effective communication can ease the stress and help employees in progressing towards their goal (Boswell, Boudreau, & Tichy, 2005).

8. Value yourself

“Nothing can bring you peace, but yourself.”

Ralph Waldo Emerson

Kate White, former editor-in-chief of the Cosmopolitan, mentioned that work stress often makes us forget our real worth. A gentle reminder to self, a little throwback to the past achievements can work wonders in bringing back the happiness at the workplace.

Happiness is sustained when we can step back and take a moment for appreciating ourselves.

Self-Worth Checklist
1. Five achievements that I am proud of:
2. My biggest strengths are:
3. My biggest weaknesses are:
4. Five compliments I would like to give myself:

9. Start Your Day on a Good Note

Take some moments each morning to collect your thoughts and plan your day ahead. Go for a walk, sip a hot coffee and create your goals for the day. A day that is started well is more likely to bring in more productivity and yield more fruits.

10. Adjust your Schedules

Effective communication is the key to a happy work life. Happy professionals are always one step ahead in maintaining and following a flexible schedule.

Prolonged working hours without breaks can take a toll on the brain and bring us down, thereby making way for unproductivity and distress.

The Link Between Happiness and Productivity (Incl. Statistics)

The role of productivity in enhancing workplace happiness was indicated in several studies (Sheldon & Lyubomirsky, 2007). In his book ‘The Happiness Advantage’, author Shawn Achor (2011) has mentioned that we can fully utilize our intellectual powers when we are feeling confident and happy.

In a happy state of mind, creative ideas flow in and we are better at problem-solving and decision-making.

Caleb Papineau (2017), an author of the blog Tinypulse, has beautifully illustrated a model of how workplace happiness is related to and is improved by productivity and creativity. His statistical analysis revealed:

  • Happy people are 31% more productive and three times more creative than others
  • Happiness improves business profitability by 147%
  • 75% of individuals leave jobs because they are unhappy with the boss rather than the job
  • Lost productivity among workers cost around $1 trillion globally, which is a shocking revelation for the world economy
  • Unhappiness in the workplace is the result of a lack of intrinsic motivation and failure to cope with stress.

Can We Measure Happiness in the Workplace?

Can we measure happiness

There have been several attempts in quantifying or measuring happiness in the workplace.

Instruments like the Minnesota Satisfaction Questionnaire (MSQ; Weiss et al., 1967), Job Descriptive Index (JDI; Smith et al., 1969) and the Job in General Scale (Ironson et al., 1989) measure workplace happiness and positive emotions that increase job satisfaction and motivation.

The Traffic Light Survey

In his article A Strategy For Measuring Employee Happiness (And Acting On The Result), David Tomas mentioned the Traffic Light Survey method as an effective strategy for measuring workplace happiness in employees (Tomas, 2015).

The test is conducted by asking three simple questions to the employees, answers to which provide insight and immediately redirects the focus onto oneself. The items of this survey are, as mentioned by David, are:

  1. What mood did you arrive in today?
  2. What mood are you leaving in today?
  3. On a scale of one to four, how much did you like the tasks you did today?

The Traffic Light Survey is easy to administer and motivates the employees to express themselves, state their opinions and strive for true happiness in the workplace.

The Work Experience Measurement Scale (WEMS)

Initially developed at a Swedish hospital in 2009, the WEMS was a web-based survey implemented on 770 individuals at first. It proved to be a powerful assessment tool for measuring work motivation, workplace happiness, and improve employee mental health (Nilsson, 2010).

Results obtained from the preliminary administration of the scale showed a positive correlation between positive emotions and work productivity.

The test consists of 32 statements that are rated on a Likert Scale, options ranging from ‘totally agree’ to ‘totally disagree’. It is a widely used scale in different professional sectors and provides an in-depth understanding of the dynamics of mental health that is related to workplace happiness.

5 Surveys and Questionnaires (PDF)

Try the following surveys with employees to understand their level of happiness at work.

1. The Happiness At Work Survey

The Foresight Program, an initiative of the UK Government Office of Sciences developed a survey for measuring how happy we feel at work. The investigation, known as the Happiness At Work Survey is a self-assessable and subjective test and can be taken here.

2. The Happiness At Work Quiz

A fun and simple tool for measuring workplace happiness, this quiz was mentioned by Annie McKee (2017b), in one of her articles in the Harvard Business Review. The article along with the quiz can be accessed here.

3. The Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index (PSQI)

Although devised for measuring the sleep quality in older adults, the PSQI is often used by employers to gauge their level of happiness and job satisfaction.

Results indicated that workers who are unhappy at work have poor sleep quality and are susceptible to physical illnesses like hypertension, stress disorders, and cardiac dysfunctions. The test can be downloaded here.

4. The Oxford Happiness Questionnaire

The Oxford Happiness Questionnaire was initially published in the Journal of Personality and Individual Differences and is by far one of the most popular tests for measuring the overall happiness of an individual (Hills & Argyle, 2002).

The test is self-administered, easy to conduct, and gives a fair estimate of how we are in general with our lives.

5. The Wheel Of Life

The Wheel of Life is essentially a mindfulness tool for self-assessment but is being widely used across different sectors to increase self-awareness, self-reflection, and thereby promoting happiness at the workplace and in life.

We can use interactive templates on the web or mobile applications on the Wheel of Life to gauge our affective states and work on improving them at work.

3 Happiness Workshop Ideas for Employees

  1. Workshop Activities To Build Team Success – Access here
  2. The Work Happiness Workshop – Access here
  3. Team Building And Effective Communications Workshop – Access here

The Happiness at Work Documentary

Martin Meissonnier, a French journalist who directed the documentary on Happiness At Work, showed how work pressures have continued to affect our wellbeing since ages.

He has provided promising pieces of evidence with evolutionary links to the whole concept of happiness at work.

The documentary released in 2014 and was a real eye-opener in the field of mental health, organizational psychology, and other social sciences.

The movie was released in three languages – English, German, and French – and received significant accreditation globally for its mind-boggling revelations.

Here is a teaser of the documentary:

Happiness at Work – Teaser from Productions Campagne Première on Vimeo.

TED Talks and Videos

Happiness At Work TED Talk by Vanessa King

Happiness At Work by Alexander Kjerulf

Happiness At Work by Arlette Bentzen, 2013

Happiness and Success by Bob Molle

The Secret To Building A Healthy And Happy Workplace By Wolter Smit

Happiness At Work By Henry Stewart

The Secret To Happiness By Christine Carter

10 Recommended Books

1. Unlocking Happiness at Work – Jennifer Moss

Unlocking Happiness at WorkAuthor Jennifer Moss takes us through the most enlightening journey on how being more compassionate and positive can make happiness at work a piece of cake.

This book’s popularity is mostly due to the real-time demonstrations and the practical implementations that readers can use in their daily lives while seeking happiness at work.

Find the book on Amazon.

2. Real Happiness at Work – Sharon Salzberg

Real Happiness at WorkSharon Salzberg wrote ‘Real Happiness At Work‘ in 2013. Her work focuses on how meditation for working professionals can lead to finding true happiness at work and in life.

An all-time good read, this book has successfully brought meditation and mindfulness into foreplay in an organizational setup.

Find the book on Amazon.

3. Happiness at Work – Professor Srikumar Rao

Happiness at Work: Be ResilientProfessor Srikumar Rao presents some great pieces of advice and cutting-edge knowledge on how we can find and choose to be happy despite what is going on around us.

The Happiness At Work book is a great self-help book for any professional or individual who wants to make a good change in life.

Find the book on Amazon.

4. The Happiness Advantage – Shawn Achor

The Happiness AdvantageAlso available as an audiobook, the Happiness Advantage is a successful attempt by author Shawn Achor to bring to us the principles of positive psychology and how it can evoke happiness from within us.

Find the book on Amazon.



5. How To Be Happy At Work – Annie McKee

How to be happy at workA practical and point-blank approach is what Annie McKee, author of the book believes to bring happiness and job contentment.

Whether a manager, an employee or an entrepreneur, this book is an excellent source of motivation and positive energy.

Find the book on Amazon.



6. The Best Place To Work – Ron Friedman

The Best Place To WorkExceptionally useful for managers, emerging leaders, and employees at different positions, the book written by Ron Friedman gathers all the bits of understanding the feelings of others we work with and gauge our level of happiness in the workplace.

Find the book on Amazon.


7. 10% Happier – Dan Harris

10% HappierAcknowledged as the New York Times bestseller in 2014, 10% Happier by Dan Harris is a relatable self-help book for understanding and enhancing happiness at work.

With real-life examples from the author’s life, the book is a real inspiration for everyone seeking happiness at work.

Find the book on Amazon.


8. Happy @ Work – Jim Donovan

Happy @ WorkJim Donovan, the author, has formulated 60 simple ways to find and stay happy at work. A handbook full of research-oriented evidence, this book can be the game changer you were looking for.

Find the book on Amazon.




9. Working Happy – Matt Cowell

Working HappyIn this book, author Matt Cowell has explained a simple formula for the success of an organization, which is Energy + Connections + Integrations + Influence = Success.

The book follows a practical approach for addressing workplace happiness and is a good choice for management professional and high achievers.

Find the book on Amazon.

10. Work, Happiness, And Unhappiness – Peter B. Warr

Work, Happiness, And UnhappinessWriter Peter B. Warr, who is also a mental health expert, has delved into the aetiological factors that make some people feel happier than others at the workplace in the book ‘Work, Happiness, and Unhappiness.’

It contains relevant constructs related to happiness at work with tips to sustain and improve it and should be in the reading list for those who aim to build themselves as a successful professional.

Find the book on Amazon.


Happiness inspires productivity

Shawn Achor

Most people chase success at work, thinking that will make them happy. The truth is that happiness at work will make you successful

Alexander Kjerulf

Choose a job you love, and you never have to work a day in your life


Happiness comes when your work and words are of benefit to yourself and others


There is joy in work. There is no happiness except in the realization that we have accomplished something

Henry Ford

It is all about quality of life and finding a happy balance between work, friends, and family

Philip Green

Independence is happiness

Susan B. Anthony

Doing what you like is freedom, liking what you do is happiness

Frank Tyger

Work is the nearest thing to happiness that I can find

Zora Neale Hurston

When you have to work, work with a smile

Kapil Dev

A Take-Home Message

“Happiness is not a goal. It is a by-product of a life well-lived”

Eleanor Roosevelt

Happiness, whether at work or in life, is not an ideal state of more pleasures and fewer worries. It is a way of living that we can consciously choose by acceptance, understanding, communication, and trust. If we wake up with determination, work with dedication and go to bed with satisfaction, we have already attained happiness at work.

We hope you enjoyed reading this article. Don’t forget to download our three Positive Psychology Exercises for free.


  • Achor, S. (2011). The happiness advantage: The seven principles of positive psychology that fuel success and performance at work. London, UK: Ebury.
  • Bellet, C., De Neve, J. E., & Ward, G. (2019, October 13). Does employee happiness have an impact on productivity? Saïd Business School.
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What our readers think

  1. Josephine

    Wow! This is really a very engaging, inspiring & helpful article.
    Now, i realized this is what is gone & missing in our workplace.
    I really wish & hope to be an instrument to help my colleagues happy at work.
    How can I share this article to my manager?

    • Nicole Celestine, Ph.D.

      Hi Josephine,

      Glad you liked this post. While we don’t currently have an option to download our posts, you are very welcome to share them with others. If you scroll to the end of the post and respond positively to the question ‘How useful was this article to you?’ several sharing options will become available to you.

      Hope this helps!

      – Nicole | Community Manager

  2. Nandkumar Rane

    Excellent article on Happiness at work. Thanks for sharing. We are in the process of designing a program on Employee happiness at our organisation . Look forward to using some of the information and references given here for the same. Thank you so much.

  3. Dr. Sophie Keller

    This is one the great article that guides people to be happier at work irrespective of what is happening in their lives. If you are happier at work you will be more productive and will show optimum growth in the coming time.

  4. Ave

    Hi there,

    Can I please check which reference is the happiness at work diagram from? The one with 8 factors for Happiness at work

    • Nicole Celestine

      Hi Ave,

      I believe this diagram was created by us to summarize some of some of the themes of the article, but it isn’t a comprehensive model per se. If you’d like to reference it, perhaps cite the blog post itself. 🙂

      – Nicole | Community Manager

  5. Dennis Davis

    Nice Blog!!! Thank you for sharing the information. Wonderful blog & good post. It’s really helpful for me.
    Happiness the most important for live healthy and long life. The Happiness Shot is the most preferred source of happy news, good news and positive news from around the world to spread hope, inspiration, and optimism.

    • Nicole Celestine

      Hi Dennis,
      So glad you took something meaningful from this post. All the best living your own happy life!
      – Nicole | Community Manager

  6. Maya Schmid

    Great information . Could I reshare this article on my website obviously with all your credentials and approval? Please do let me know. Best May a

    • Nicole Celestine

      Hi Maya,
      Of course! Please feel free to link to us on your website. 🙂
      – Nicole | Community Manager

  7. Hamza

    Just checking on the subject and found it. It is great.Will be sharing the ideas with collesgues.

  8. Vidhya R.

    A wonderful piece on happiness! Thanks for sharing. Wish you happiness always! This article is very helpful to teach about how to create happy workplace to my students. Thank you!

  9. Henry Pocekay

    Thanks for the great info! Looking forward to more updates on this.


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