15 Proven Tips to Be Happy at Work

Want to be happier at work? Try taking time out for these proven techniques.

Breaking news. In 2013, unhappy employees outnumbered happy ones by two to one worldwide,
according to Gallup. Based on studies that took place in 142 countries and contained
approximately 180 million employees, only "13 percent of employees worldwide are happily
engaged at work."

Of course, you probably didn't need statistics to know that. Being miserable at work has just
become a way of life. Or, has it?

I've been trying to be happier each and every day. With 2014 coming to an end, it's time to turn
over that new leaf and start actually being happy at work. But how can you accomplish such a
seemingly hopeless task?

Try these 15 proven tactics that will make you happy at workplace.

1. Have a Sense of Meaning

In 1983 Steve Jobs convinced future Apple CEO John Sculley to leave his job at PepsiCo by asking
him one question: "Do you want to spend the rest of your life selling sugared water or do you
want a chance to change the world?"

Why was this so effective? Besides sparking his curiosity and imagination, it gave Scully the
chance to do meaningful work. This has been backed by research from Wharton management
professor Adam Grant, who has found that "employees who know how their work has a
meaningful, positive impact on others are not just happier than those who don't; they are vastly
more productive, too." Additional research from Harvard professor Teresa Amabile has
discovered that no matter the size of a goal--whether curing cancer or helping a colleague--
having a sense of meaning can contribute to happiness in the workplace.

2. Create an 'Office Nest'

Jennifer Star, a founding partner of the Balance Team, notes on Monster that since you spend so
much time at work, if you want to improve your happiness there you should "make your space
your own, decorate your area as much as your company policy permits, and make yourself as
comfortable and relaxed as you can be in your office."

3. Find a Work Best Friend

Research from my free hosting startup Hostt has found "that having a best friend at work can
turn a moderately engaged worker into a highly engaged worker." When I hire people, I try and
really pay attention to referrals of workers. When workers are engaged in friendships they
contribute more to the bottom line.

Christine Riordan states in the Harvard Business Review 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, comradery and a sense of loyalty.

4. Smile

Something as simple as smiling can improve your happiness at work because it tells your brain to
be more happy--thanks to the release of neuropeptides. Smiling is also contagious and will make
your co-workers smile as well.

5. Leave Personal Problems at Home

Julie Morgenstern, author of Time Management From the Inside Out, informs CBS News that
"when your personal life is in tumult, a lot of emotional hijacking goes on. Emotions consume
you and stress exhausts you." When it happens that you have an inordinate amount of stress, it
will seem like your work is never ending, you will watch the clock, and you will be distracted from
being more productive.

While it's easy for your personal life to carry over into your professional life, make sure that you
attend to personal matters before heading out for the workday.

6. Be Future Oriented

According to experts like Geoffrey James, "you'll make better decisions and be more satisfied
with your results if you know that most of what you're doing in your work at this time still fits
into your long-term plans and goals. That's only possible if you keep those plans and goals in the

7. Say 'Thank You'

Based on experiments from Professor Francesca Gino of the Harvard Business School and
Professor Adam Grant of the Wharton School, "receiving expressions of gratitude makes us feel
a heightened sense of self-worth, and that in turn triggers other helpful behaviors toward both
the person we are helping and other people that are around us, too."

In fact, their experiments have discovered that 66% of students helped a fellow student named
"Eric" because he thanked them in advance for reviewing his cover letter.

Instead of just saying "thank you" to your peers--and even receptionists and maintenance--you
can be proactive and ask for feedback to receive some much-deserved gratitude. Definitely don't
ask again if a person you have previously asked is determined to make you feel unappreciated,
or if they are continually condemning you or your team.

8. Take a Breather

It's incredibly easy to get burned out during the workday. That's why you need to take a minute
and breath before moving on to your next task. Sharon Salzberg, author of Real Happiness at
Work, informs Business Insider that "without some breathing space in the face of constant
demands, we won't be creative, competent, or cheerful." She also adds that by not taking a break,

"we won't get along with others as well, and we won't take criticism without the possibility of
imploding. It is a must to control the level of our daily stress."

My friend and marketing expert Liv Longley states that employees also need to take time off to
recharge from the stress of work. In fact, taking a vacation not only relieves stress and recharges
us, it can also improve our overall health and make us more productive at work.

9. Eat Healthy and Stay Hydrated

According to Shirly Weiss, a certified holistic health and nutritional counselor and consulting
expert for the Balance Team, "maintaining a good diet and keeping yourself properly hydrated
throughout your workday can really make a big difference in your energy level and attitude."

Instead of hitting the vending machine for lunch, have meals that involve yogurt, asparagus,
honey, cherry tomatoes. Eating foods that keep your blood sugar within a normal range will stop
headaches and fatigue, as well as help you concentrate better.

10. Get Organized

Chrystal Doucette suggests on Chron.com that having an organized workplace will help you be
better prepared and work more efficiently. It can also improve your happiness since a "clean desk
makes the work environment seem less hectic and stressful." In short, you have enough stress
with work, so avoid the additional stress that clutter and scrambling for lost items will cause.

11. Don't Multitask

Despite the myth, multitasking isn't effective. Clifford Nass, a psychology professor at Stanford
University claims that multitasking "wastes more time than it saves." He also states that it
decreases concentration and creativity.

Instead of getting overwhelmed by the amount of work you're trying to juggle through
multitasking, focus on one task at a time. Many do well with a simple checklist to accomplish this.

12. Accept People for Who They Are

You can't change who people are. 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. There are many fantastic books on this
subject as well.

13. Move Around

Whether it's finding the time to take a walk outside, run up and down the stairs on your break,
stretch, or do a 10-minute exercise, moving around throughout the workday has a number of
beneficial effects--even if you already exercise and eat healthy.

As Lifehacker points out, sitting all day and working on a computer can lead to health concerns
like weight gain, heart disease, eye strain, and carpal tunnel syndrome.

In short, when you feel better, you'll be in a better place mood-wise as well.

14. Reward Yourself

Whether it's by going out to dinner with your significant other, purchasing a new gadget, enjoying
a piece of candy, or giving yourself a pat on the back, (the politician applause), find the time to
reward yourself after you've completed a project or had a fruitful day.

You can even take that a step further and prime yourself to be happy. Research has found that
doctors who prepared themselves to be happy were able to reach a diagnosis twice as fast as
their colleagues.

15. Reflect on the Day

Why are you working so hard? You can answer that question by reflecting on the day and recalling
something that was positive. When you record these moments in your notebook, smartphone,
tablet, etc., you'll have a reminder of why your work matters to you. You can refer to these
statements of positive reflection whenever you need a boost.

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