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What a weird year it has been.
We’ve all been affected in some way by the global pandemic and have had to adapt our ways of working. That’s one thing. But what really gets to a lot of people are the bad news all around.
Are you disturbed by the constant cascade of depressing news? Does the state of the world through the lens of the news channel get you down? And yet, do you feel addicted to the constant drama delivered to you on-demand?
I have made the choice long ago to be extremely intentional in the way I consume news. My notifications are off and I only check the latest developments twice a week.
This matters because by constantly consuming negative news, it’s what you end up talking about most of the time. And your colleagues probably do the same.
Cue the negative chatter full of gossip, complaint and “should have”.
But what if there was another way? What if you could take control of the narrative, become intentional about what you take in and what you spread? What if, instead, you could become an agent of change, spreading happiness in the workplace?
Today’s post explains why spreading happiness at work matters. And if you’re not sure where to start, I also run you through 21 ways to do it.
Why Spreading Happiness Matters
Before we talk about why spreading happiness at work matters, it’s important to understand that spreading happiness, in general, is also going to rock your world – here’s how:
You Will Feel Better
Being a positive person will change the direction of your life for the better. Research shows that spreading happiness is a solid way to improve mental health. You’re less likely to feel depressed or anxious when dealing with whatever life throws at you because you have built resilience in the face of adversity and have the necessary tool to avoid feeling overwhelmed.
You Will Be Healthier
When you are stressed and anxious, the sympathetic nervous system is responding, initiating the “fight-or-flight” response. If this is your natural state, the constantly elevated levels of adrenaline and cortisol in the body can cause systemic inflammation.
But when you are positive and feeling happy, you are pulling from the parasympathetic nervous system, initiating the “rest-and-digest” response and releasing chemicals such as dopamine and oxytocin (the “love” hormone). The parasympathetic nervous system restores the body to a calm and composed state and prevents it from overworking.
You Will Boost Your Self Esteem
When you are spreading happiness and being kind to others, you are much more likely to be kind to yourself.
The self-love you allow yourself builds into self-esteem and more confidence in your abilities. Have you heard the mantra “you are enough”? This is exactly what it’s about.
You Will Be Happier
Have you ever thought about buying a specific model of car? And once you start thinking about it, the only car you seem to notice on the road is this particular model?
It’s the same with positivity. When you strive to have a positive outlook on things, you will notice more and more positivity around you.
In other words, spreading happiness will make you happier.
You Will Change The World
Happiness is contagious.
Do you know the phrase “Smile and the world smile with you”? Well, it might be cliché but not inaccurate.
What happens when you are radiating good vibes is that you make others happy. And they in turn are prone to spreading happiness. Like a ripple effect.
Why Spreading Happiness At Work Matters
So, it’s clear that spreading happiness is great for you. But what about spreading happiness at work specifically? The next points explain why spreading happiness is a powerful concept that can radically improve your career and work culture.
You Will Improve Your Relationships
Who would you rather spend time with: the grumpy colleague who always complains or the happy colleague who will brighten your day?
Spreading happiness at work will help you connect and develop strong emotional bonds with your colleagues.
You Will Accumulate Goodwill
In essence, you shouldn’t help others to get something in return. However, being supportive, kind and compassionate will build up your goodwill at work.
And if one day you are the one in need of support, your colleagues are likely to return the favour.
You Will Make A Name For Yourself
Nowadays, some of the most important skills you can get are people skills.
When you are intentionally spreading happiness at work, you are nurturing and developing those skills.
People will know you for it. And your boss will undoubtedly be impressed.
You Will Transform Your Workplace
The same way spreading happiness can change the world, you can transform your work culture one step at a time by choosing to be an agent of change.
Because happiness is contagious, every act of kindness has a ripple effect that can touch every corner of the company.
You Will Make Your Boss Happier
Happy employees are not only more productive (by 13% on average), they are also far less likely to leave.
The impact of a happier workplace to the bottom line is obvious.
By spreading happiness at work, you are not only making your colleagues happier. You are also playing a role in your company’s success.
21 Ways To Spread Happiness At Work
No doubt about it, spreading happiness at work not only is the right thing to do, it will also have tremendous benefits for you and your colleagues.
So where do you start?
It doesn’t have to be overly complicated. Here I share 21 simple but powerful ways to spread happiness at work immediately:
1. Smile more
Make it a rule to always greet your coworkers. Say “hi” when walking past their desks, a genuine “how are you today?” by the coffee machine, or simply a wave and a smile when making eye-contact from afar.
When you compliment someone, their face lights up. It makes them feel good about themselves. Tell your colleagues what a great job they’ve done, how you liked their presentation or that their report was expertly written. You might just make their day! Just remember to be genuine…
4. Be Grateful
Gratitude is a powerful way to spread happiness around you. But we often take things for granted and quickly move on. A simple thank you means that you notice what others are doing and it will make them feel good. How about leaving a note or sending an email about something you’re grateful for?
5. Really Listen
When was the last time you actively listened to a conversation? When you do, you stop thinking about what to say next or what to have for dinner. You are immersed in the conversation. And your coworkers will know whether you are paying attention.
6. Help A Colleague
Helping out without expecting anything in return will make your colleagues feel supported. And you will feel great even though there’s nothing in it for you.
7. Share Your Knowledge
Too often at work, we tend to hold on to our knowledge and expertise. We want to be the go-to person. But by being generous and offering what you know to your colleagues, not only are you supporting them, you will make your organisation more productive and attract more opportunities.
8. Send A Fun Email
You don’t have to be serious all the time. Take 5 minutes to write a light-hearted email to your colleagues to make them smile. Only, make sure to keep it appropriate…
9. Offer Something
Make a colleague feel special by offering them something. It doesn’t have to be anything expensive. It could be as simple as bringing pastries in the morning, a box of chocolate when they’ve had a tough week, or a book when they’ve shared a specific interest with you.
10. Make Everyone Part Of The Team
Whether you’re a manager or not, make sure no one is left behind in your team. Look for introverts who never speak up and help them get their message across. Take new joiners under your wing.
11. Ask About Life
Take the time to get to know your colleagues. Ask about their lives, what their interests are, their children. They will feel valued (as long as you take the time to properly listen!).
12. Do A Coffee Round
When you’re about to go grab your coffee, ask if anyone would like one. Or if they’d like to come with you.
13. Ask For Feedback
Ask your colleagues what they think about your ideas, your presentation, your report. Seek their contribution and what they would do differently. Not only your work will be better for it, they will feel valued and respected.
14. Socialise after work
It’s easy to treat your job as completely separate from your personal life. And that’s fine if it works for you. But we’re social creatures. We like to connect. Spending time outside of work to get to know each other will improve relationships in the workplace. As long as it doesn’t turn into a gossiping session!
15. Emphasize Success
When you notice that a colleague has done a brilliant piece of work, make some noise! Make sure to spread the news. Get their boss to notice.
16. Offer To Buy Lunch
Next time you go out for lunch, ask one of your colleagues to join you. Or if they’re too busy, offer to bring them back something.
17. Fight Off Gossip
Gossip is the most unprofessional and destructive force in the workplace. All it takes is for someone to diffuse it and redirect the conversation onto something more positive. Be that person.
18. Embrace Diverse Perspectives
Have the humility to accept that your opinion is not the only one. Listen to others without judgement, even though you disagree. Engage with colleagues who don’t share your opinions instead of avoiding them.
19. Make Them Feel Important
When you work in a large organisation, it’s easy to feel that you’re not important, just a “cog in the machine”. A lot of professionals feel this way. And lack of purpose is one of the main causes of job dissatisfaction. Make sure your colleagues feel important. Remind them they are every day. In the classic book “How to Win Friends and Influence People”, Dale Carnegie reminds us of our deep need to feel important.
20. Leave A Note
Sprinkle happiness in the workplace by leaving notes around. Tell people they’re doing a great job. Make them feel special.
21. Do Something Nice
Do something nice for a colleague without expecting anything in return. You’ll make them feel happier and spread this happiness around the workplace.
READ NEXT: How To Be Happy At Work (9 Ways)
I hope you found value in these tips on spreading happiness at work.
We all have bad days and sometimes, spreading happiness is the last thing on our minds. That’s fine, no one has to be happy all the time.
But choosing to spread happiness consistently is a sure way to transform your life, your colleagues and your workplace for the better.
How do you spread happiness in your workplace? Please share and comment below, I’d love to know!