How to Be Happier at Work (and Create a Happier Workplace)

Oct. 20, 2010
If employees aren’t honestly glad to be working at their place of employment, their mood will suffer, asserted the founders of The Business School of Happiness. These experts suggested ways employees and employers alike can make their workplaces more enjoyable and productive.

Brother and sister Tom and Dian Griesel have studied various ways people can improve satisfaction with their lives, including their hours on the job. Step No. 1? Try to like your boss.

“You should like your boss, or at least respect him or her,” said Tom. “You should also like and respect your co-workers. Try to avoid confrontations with superiors and colleagues; if there is an issue that you feel needs to be addressed, there is always a diplomatic forum in which to resolve it. If you don’t think such a forum exists, work on creating one.”

“It is important to set a positive example for your co-workers,” added Dian. “Always work to your highest capacity, regardless of what others are doing or what is going on around you. Focus on controlling your own behavior. This approach to your work will do wonders for your productivity as well as your self-esteem.”

Tom and Dian also offered the following tips:

  • Make a list of the steps you can take to become more productive and carry them out.
  • Focus on the most important task at hand and attempt to finish it before moving on.
  • Avoid chitchat beyond what’s necessary to be social; save gossip for breaks or lunch.
  • Restrict your personal business to your personal time.

Tips for Employers

The Griesels also offered the following tips specifically for employers and supervisors:

  • Create an open environment where your employees can express themselves, and communicate with them often.
  • Encourage suggestions and ideas for improving the workplace.
  • Offer praise, as well as constructive criticism, early and often. Avoid favoritism.
  • Deal with all employee issues, problems and conflicts quickly and fairly.
  • Set a proper example. Leaders need to show why they are the leaders if they expect to have happy, productive employees.

Both employees and employers, meanwhile, can benefit from improved eating and sleeping habits.

“Your mood will definitely suffer if you’re suffering from a lack of sleep,” noted Tom, “so be sure to get 8 to 9 hours of sleep every night. Sleep recharges your system. To work at your highest capacity and feel your best, you need to be adequately rested.”

“Improving your diet is also critical,” Dian advised. “A better diet will improve your mood for both physiological and psychological reasons. There is absolutely no drug, pill or supplement that will upgrade your health and your mood more than diet … An incorrect diet is the biggest factor driving poor physical health as well as numerous mental health and cognitive problems. Start by eliminating all sugar and refined products and pack your own lunch and snacks.”

Most importantly, the Greisels advised workers to count their blessings. After all, being employed at all in this economic climate might be enough to boost your mood.

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