happy at work

Are You Happy at Work? (Tips to Be Happier in the Office)

We spend so much of our lives working that learning how to be happy at work is vital. If you don’t, you’ll spend most of your time unhappy.

Some people are lucky enough to have their dream job and find happiness at work without having to try. However, this is not the case for everyone. Job insecurity, long hours, and too much pressure can lead to unhappiness in the workplace.

Fortunately, you can take some practical steps to increase your happiness at work, and we’ll go over some of the best tips right here.

Why Should You Prioritize Being Happy at Work?

Work is a huge part of our lives. If you are unhappy at work, then you are spending a significant amount of your life not happy, and this is not good for you.

If you’re unhappy, you are less likely to be motivated to do well at your job, further compounding the problem.

Being unhappy at work can also affect other areas of your life, making it harder for you to be happy overall. For instance, if you leave work unhappy, you may take out your frustrations on people at home.

Your feelings towards work are a large part of your feelings towards life as a whole. If you are miserable from 9-5, you are unlikely to spend your non-working hours productively.

And by productively, we don’t mean working on your side hustle. We mean investing time into things that are important for your overall happiness, such as self-care.

Happy at work

It is essential to work on being happy at your job so that you can be happy in all aspects of your life.

Fortunately, employers are also beginning to understand the importance of workplace happiness. Applied psychology research shows a direct link between employee happiness and organizational success.

Happy employees tend to have better job performance and bring positive energy to the workplace. They feel more engaged with their work and have more intrinsic motivation to do their best. They are more productive and creative, and they take less time off. Happy workers are also more likely to stay with a company, saving the business money on recruitment and training costs.

It is clear that employee happiness is essential for businesses to thrive. Even Harvard Business School is teaching courses on how to be happy at work, showing just how important the topic has become.

Happy at Work: How to Be Happier in the Office

Chances are, if you’re reading this article, you are feeling unhappy at work and are hoping to find a solution to your problem. Don’t worry! There are many ways to boost your happiness at work, both big and small.

Happiness at work is an achievable goal. Let’s break down how to be happier at work.

happy at work

Maintain a Good Work-Life Balance

Happiness at work starts with maintaining a good balance between your work and personal life.

Your work should not consume all of your time and energy. It is essential to have hobbies and interests outside of work so that you can relax and recharge. Spending all of your time working will only lead to burnout.

Draw a clear distinction between work time and private time. This can sometimes be challenging when our jobs seem to expect our time 24/7, but it is important to switch off your laptop and leave work-related stress (e.g., your work emails) to your work hours only.

If you can, try to take a break from work during your lunchtime or use your commute time to relax and clear your mind before heading back into the office.

If you work from home, make sure to set up a specific workspace and stick to set working hours as much as possible. Maintaining a happy work from home life requires some extra diligence since it can be easy to blur the lines between work and home when you don’t have to leave the house to go to an office.

During your private time, make sure to engage in activities that make you happy and help you relax. This can be anything from reading, going for walks, or spending time with loved ones. Read up on our happiness hacks for some extra inspiration.

By maintaining a healthy work-life balance, you will start to feel happier both inside and outside of work, improve your overall well-being and develop the resilience you need against work stress when it inevitably arises.

Girl reading at window

Set Goals and Celebrate Achievements

When it comes to happiness at work, it is important to set goals and celebrate your achievements. Having something to work towards can increase your overall job satisfaction.

Think about what you would like to achieve in your role over the next month, six months, and year. Make sure that your goals are realistic and achievable. Then, create a plan to help you reach these goals.

Set Goals And Celebrate Achievements

As you accomplish each goal, take the time to celebrate your success. This can be something as simple as taking a break to enjoy a cup of coffee or buying yourself a small treat.

Remember, small wins lead to big successes over time. Celebrating each success along the way will make you more likely to stay motivated, achieve your long-term goals, and be much happier.

Make Your Workplace a Positive Environment

The physical environment you work in can impact your happiness at work. If your workplace is cluttered, cramped, or otherwise unpleasant, it can be difficult to be happy in your job.

You can make small changes to your workplace to make it a more positive environment. For example, you might add some plants or pictures to your desk area. Getting rid of clutter and organizing your workspace can also improve your mental health.

work environment

Also, consider the lighting in your workplace. According to research, natural light can improve mood and increase productivity. If possible, try to set your desk up near a window.

You can also make changes to the overall office environment. If your company allows it, add some comfortable furniture or decorate the space with color. These small changes can significantly affect how happy you feel at work.

Another way to make your workplace more positive is to take short breaks throughout the day to walk around or get some fresh air. These brief respites can help to clear your head and boost your mood.

Cultivate Workplace Relationships

One of the best ways to increase work happiness is by cultivating positive relationships with co-workers. These relationships can provide support, friendship, and a sense of belonging, a significant motivating factor for all human beings. If you feel like you belong in your workplace, you are more likely to feel satisfied and happy with your job.

There are a few things that you can do to develop these relationships. First, make an effort to get to know your co-workers. Ask them about their lives, their families, and their interests.

Second, be a good team player. Collaborate with your co-workers and build a sense of team spirit. Acknowledge and celebrate their successes and lend a helping hand when needed.

Cultivate relationships

Finally, be supportive of your co-workers. If they are going through a tough time, lend a listening ear or offer whatever help you can.

These small gestures can go a long way in developing positive relationships in the workplace.

Be Kind

You help shape your workplace, so if you want to be happier, you need to help create a better workplace culture.

One of the best ways to do this is to be kind. People often underestimate how powerful making someone smile can be for both the giver and the receiver.

Practice gratitude

It doesn’t matter if you don’t particularly get along with someone at work. If you see them struggling, offer to help. Always speak kindness and try to be uplifting and supportive. If you can, go out of your way to do something nice for a colleague.

Don’t forget about the support staff, like the janitors and cafeteria workers. They are an essential part of the workplace, and a little kindness can go a long way.

Being kind brings about positive emotions and makes you feel good about yourself. It also encourages others to be kind in return, which can help to create a positive work environment for everyone.

Practice Gratitude

We can often lose sight of the good things in our lives and get sucked into a vortex of negative thoughts. A great way to combat this is to practice gratitude.

Take a few minutes each day or each week (such as on Thankful Thursday) to think about things you are grateful for, especially in your job. Think about big and small things. For example, you might be grateful for your salary, your co-workers, your job security, or the fact that you have a job at all.

gratitude

Expressing gratitude can help you reframe your thoughts and see the positive aspects of your job. Consciously taking stock of these things can help you be more appreciative of what you already have and help highlight areas that need attention.

Cultivating gratitude can also help increase your resilience in the face of setbacks. When you start to feel overwhelmed, focus on things that make you grateful and let the energy of gratitude help lift your spirits.

Find Meaning in Your Work

Research has shown that when people find purpose and meaning in their work, they tend to be happier, more productive, and more successful.

Finding meaning in your job can be a challenge if you are not doing something that inspires you. However, it is possible to find purpose and satisfaction even in jobs we don’t particularly enjoy.

Rather than looking at your job as a series of tasks you have to do, try to focus on the bigger picture. Knowing how your work impacts others and makes a difference will help you find purpose in what you do.

meaning

Remember that we are all interconnected in this world; even the most minor tasks can have significant implications. For instance, if you’re responsible for quality control in a manufacturing company, know that your work ensures the safety of consumers.

Take the time to figure out how your job contributes to the greater good or how it positively affects the lives of others. This will help you develop a sense of purpose and appreciation for your job that can bring more happiness to your work life.

View Your Job as an Opportunity for Growth

If you are still unhappy with your current role, view it as a stepping stone to something better. Focus on the skills you are learning and using in your work environment.

We all have to start somewhere, so your current job might not be your dream job. But if you view it as professional development and an opportunity to learn and grow, it can help you to be happier in your work.

Think about the skills you are developing and how you can use them in the future. Even skills that seem mundane can be valuable. For example, if you are doing customer service work, it is teaching you how to think on your feet and handle difficult conversations. A frustrating sales job that keeps you facing rejection is teaching you resilience and the importance of putting in extra effort.

You can even learn lessons from things in your workplace that don’t make sense to you – if something doesn’t work, it’s a great opportunity to figure out a better way of doing it.

By viewing your current job as an opportunity for growth, you can find the silver lining and feel more satisfied with your work.

View Your Job As An Opportunity For Growth

Take Initiative to Make Positive Changes

Sometimes, a feeling of discontent in the workplace comes from negative organizational behavior. If this is the case, then no amount of positive thinking will solve the problem.

If you’re unhappy with something at work, don’t just sit there and complain about it – take the initiative to make a change.

For example, talk to your supervisor about your workload if you’re unhappy with it. If you’re feeling overwhelmed, ask for help. If you’re bored with your job, look for ways to make it more interesting. If you’re lacking connection, reach out and build relationships with your co-workers.

Taking the initiative shows you’re proactive and willing to take steps to improve your situation. It also demonstrates that you’re invested in your job and looking for ways to improve it. This can improve your job satisfaction and make you happier at work.

Friends chatting at window

Final Thoughts

For a happy life overall, you need to be happy at work. After all, you spend a large chunk of your time there!

So, start investing in your work happiness today! Be positive, be kind, and take the initiative to make positive changes. These things will help you create a happy workplace for yourself and those around you.

Beyond work, do whatever brings you happiness. Spend time with people who make you smile, take a walk to enjoy nature, or read a good book. Anything that brings you joy is time well spent.


If you need help, consider using an app to bring more positivity into your daily routine. The Do Happy App is a great choice! It helps you spend time on things that make you happy and guides you to do good deeds for others, making you feel even better.