Tips for a happier office

Sharing the article appearing in Economic Times

Happy workers tend to work smarter, work harder and be better engaged. Not surprising then that happy workplaces are usually more productive ones. Studies bear this out. Findings from research conducted by professors Andrew Oswald, Eugenio Proto and Daniel Sgroi of the department of economics at the University of Warwick revealed that happiness makes people about 12 per cent more productive.

In a blog, Shawn Anchor, author of The Happiness Advantage, highlighted research over the past decade that proves happiness improves nearly every business and educational outcome. While being happy really pays off, it’s not always easy to create a harmonious, happy atmosphere at work. Often, it’s the little things that matter. Sreeradha D Basu spoke to experts to find out how to go about it.

Find a Work Best Friend

Having a best friend at work can turn a moderately engaged worker into a highly engaged worker. A recent article in the Harvard Business Review said that employees who “have friends at work perceive their job as more fun, enjoyable, worthwhile, and satisfying”. “Furthermore, having friends at work can create a support system, camaraderie and a sense of loyalty,” said Professor Christopher Abraham, head of Dubai campus, SP Jain School of Global Management who specialises in organisational behaviour, leadership and positive psychology, among other areas.

Smile and Say Thank You

Something as simple as smiling can enhance your happiness at work because it tells your brain to be happier, thanks to the release of peptides, said Prof Abraham. Acknowledging people by thanking them is equally important, he said. Experiments conducted by Prof Francesca Gino of the Harvard Business School and Prof Adam Grant of the Wharton School concluded that “receiving expressions of gratitude makes us feel a heightened sense of self-worth, and that in turn triggers other helpful behaviours toward both the person we are helping and other people that are around us, too”.
Accept people for Who they are

You can’t change who people are, said Prof Abraham. “Instead of letting their personalities or actions affect you, take a step back. You could try techniques like counting to 10 before responding to them, avoiding finger-pointing and maintaining a professional attitude,” he said.

Be Open

Have an effective, open communication and a feedback mechanism, suggested Aneesh Passi, co-founder of Basil Advisors, which offers training and talent acquisition services. “Give clear expectations to the employee while joining to avoid ambiguity,” he said.

Look Beyond the Obvious

According to Passi, continuously upskilling helps break work monotony and makes the workplace stimulating. “It also helps to be community inclined and encourage people to work for a social cause which makes them feel that they are working for greater good,” he said.

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