Easy ways to boost the happiness of your colleagues

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Health Assured team

22 September 2021

Happiness can stimulate creativity, ignite connection and improve overall life satisfaction. Positive emotions invigorate human beings. The ripple effects can span far and wide from person to person. A small good deed really can go a long way. And it’s not just others that benefit. Research shows that trying to make others feel good can improve your happiness levels too¹. It creates a sense of purpose.

This week it’s International Week of Happiness at Work. So, we’re looking at ways to bring joy into the work environment. Below you’ll find some easy ways to boost the happiness of your colleagues. It doesn’t need to be a grand gesture—or even require a lot of effort. The intention can often be enough to make a difference.

Smiling is contagious. There’s something about the lifting of cheeks and grinning of teeth that instantly lights up a room. And it costs nothing. It doesn’t even take that much energy or effort. But simply making a conscious effort to smile more at the people around you can lift the spirits of others. Boosting the happiness of your work colleagues can be as simple as a smile. Smiling faces make an environment happier, brighter and more enjoyable. Energy lifts and moods get elevated. Try it out and see what happens.

Give a sincere compliment
Social connection improves physical health and emotional wellbeing². When we feel connected to others at work it benefits everyone. Connections blossom and colleagues feel happier day-to-day. Sparking up a conversation only takes a split second. But it can completely change the course of someone's day. And there’s always something you can compliment someone on. Whether it’s their work ethic the team around them, their new hairstyle or the jokes they tell that brighten up your day. The likelihood is, it will brighten their day too.

It sounds simple. But it’s easy to become distracted at work when people are talking to you. Constant emails, meetings and busy work schedules can take over. Attention dwindles, and conversation loses its flow. This can leave colleagues feeling disconnected, demotivated and deflated. Next time someone strikes up a conversation, try to really hear what they have to say. Empathise with them. Engage with them. It might just be the best chat you have all day.

Give thanks
Showing appreciation can be a great way to boost the happiness of those around you. Studies show that expressing gratitude to others at work can improve happiness levels and work-life balance². Gratitude gives way to feelings of warmth and kindness. Appreciating the people around you and the things they do for you sounds simple, but it can revolutionise your experience in work and beyond. Instead of focusing on things you don’t have, you can start to focus on enjoying what you do have. It's a mindset shift that goes way beyond the workplace. Try dropping some gratitude into the conversation and see how your experience of life changes.


¹ Titova, Milla & Sheldon, Kennon. (2021). Happiness comes from trying to make others feel good, rather than oneself. The Journal of Positive Psychology. 1-15. 10.1080/17439760.2021.1897867.

² Seppala, E., 2014. Connectedness & Health: The Science of Social Connection - The Center for Compassion and Altruism Research and Education. [online] The Center for Compassion and Altruism Research and Education. Available at: <http://ccare.stanford.edu/uncategorized/connectedness-health-the-science-of-social-connection-infographic/> [Accessed 22 September 2021].

³Adair, K., Rodriguez-Homs, L., Masoud, S., Mosca, P. and Sexton, J., 2020. Gratitude at Work: Prospective Cohort Study of a Web-Based, Single-Exposure Well-Being Intervention for Health Care Workers. Journal of Medical Internet Research, [online] 22(5), p.e15562. Available at: <https://www.jmir.org/2020/5/e15562/PDF> [Accessed 22 September 2021].


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