Having happy coworkers in the cubicle next to you doesn't just translate into a more positive office environment. Happy coworkers may also help improve worker productivity and boost the company's bottom financial line. It doesn't matter if you are a manager or a non-management employee; several specific actions can help you take ownership of the workplace and put a little smile on your colleagues' faces.
Turn the corners of your mouth upward --- even if it's a dreary Monday. Simply wearing a smile on your face will not only make you personally happy, but it will also help enhance the mood of your coworkers, says psychologist Ronald Riggio, Ph.D.
Lighten up those boring staff meetings. For example, throw a funny slide into your dry presentation, or think of creative, fun tokens of thanks that relate to your colleagues' various accomplishments. M.P. Mueller, the founder of an advertising agency, tells "Entrepreneur" magazine that she once handed out free gas masks when some of her coworkers volunteered to clean the office refrigerator.
Put your coworkers in charge of a project, meeting or task. People often take a sense of pride and happiness when given ownership of a specific office need. Knowing that you trust them can also help build the happiness quota in your workplace environment.
Offer to collaborate. Everyone has a certain passion or skill that can be of use to a coworker. For example, if you love to write and edit, volunteer to edit that press release that your marketing colleague is working on. This doesn't just potentially lead to instant happiness on your coworker's part, but also instills a sense of camaraderie and teamwork.
Declare your appreciation publicly and make your coworkers' skills and talents visible to everyone. If a coworker does something nice for you or for the office in general, jump at the opportunity to announce your thanks, whether in an office-wide email or during a meeting. Keep your thanks brief and genuine --- avoid profuse, exaggerated adjectives --- to keep from sounding fake.
Tips & Warnings
- Pouring energy into your interpersonal work relationships, much like how you do in an out-of-office friendship, can help build the happiness and fun factor of the entire office.
- "Happy Mondays: Putting the Pleasure Back Into Work"; Richard Reeves; 2002
- "Psychology Today"; The Five Pillars of Workpace Happiness; Ronald Riggio; June 2011
- "Entrepreneur"; Is Your Office a Happy Place?; Jennifer Wang; November 2010
- CNN Money; How to Build an Army of Happy, Busy Worker Bees; Linda Mignone; May 2011
- Work Awesome; 5 Tips for Happy Office Sharing; Sara Hodon; July 2010
- Photo Credit Creatas/Creatas/Getty Images
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