When are you most motivated at work?
Is it coming back from a long vacation? On Mondays after a great Sunday with friends? Or, Fridays when you have a relaxing weekend in store? Is it when you’ve just gotten great feedback from your boss, or had an especially productive meeting?
Chances are it’s a combination of all of the above—and science agrees with you.
More specifically, I’m saying that happier people get more done, and get it done better than most. In fact, a 2015 study at the University of Warwick in the UK found that they’re precisely 12% more productive than the average individual.
In order to test this, participants in the study were either “shown a comedy movie clip or treated to free chocolate, drinks, and fruit” during the experiment, while “others were questioned about recent family tragedies, such as bereavements” to see if emotions played a part in productivity.
This finding may not surprise you—but the alternative might. According to Harvard Business Review, unhappy people are not only less productive than the average individual, they’re costly for companies. To quote HBR authors Emma Seppala and Kim Cameron:
“In studies by the Queens School of Business and by the Gallup Organization, disengaged workers had 37% higher absenteeism, 49% more accidents, and 60% more errors and defects. In organizations with low employee engagement scores, they experienced 18% lower productivity, 16% lower profitability, 37% lower job growth, and 65% lower share price over time.”
What does this mean for you? For one thing, it’s crucial to not just like your job, but for it to make you happy. And being happy isn’t about the perks, or benefits, or money, but about finding a career that makes you feel fulfilled every day and like you’re contributing to something bigger than yourself.
I know—cheesy—but it’s true!
On the other hand, it also means companies should be investing more in employee happiness—whether that means encouraging flexible schedules or team bonding activities—if they plan on being profitable and sustainable in the long run.
Either way, it’s clear happiness is a big player in success for both companies and employees—and if we set our sights on it, we might be surprised with the result.
Ready to start finding happiness at work today? Try one of these 37 small habits on for size.
Photo of happy person at work courtesy of PeopleImages/Getty Images.
Previously an editor for The Muse, Alyse is proud to prove that yes, English majors can change the world. She’s written almost 500 articles for The Muse on anything from productivity tips to cover letters to bad bosses to cool career changers, many of which have been featured in Fast Company, Forbes, Inc., CNBC's Make It, USA Today College, Lifehacker, Mashable, and more. She calls many places home, including Illinois where she grew up and the small town of Hamilton where she attended Colgate University, but she was born to be a New Yorker. In addition to being an avid writer and reader, Alyse loves to dance, both professionally and while waiting for the subway.More from this Author