Happy People Are More Productive

It sounds almost too simple to believe. But there’s lots of research that show that happy people are more productive than those who are not.

Margaret Greenberg and Dana Arakawa, graduates of the Master of Applied Positive Psychology program at the University of Pennsylvania, looked at the effects of optimistic managers and found that optimists may do a better job of helping employees reach goals and be more productive.

We also know that happy workplaces result in employees who get more work done. In a study conducted by Prof Shyamalendu Niyogi called Optimism on Leadership Effectiveness: A Review of Literature, published in the International Journal of Management, he writes,  “Leadership style impacts the performance culture which influences the people and people perform accordingly, thus leadership style is crucial for the effective performance in an organization.”

Not everyone is naturally happy.  If you struggle with happiness, it is something you can work on becoming. Another study showed that people who helped others at work, invited coworkers to lunch, and helped organize office activities were not only ten times more likely to be engaged at work than those who kept to themselves; they were 40% more likely to get a promotion.

Some of the things you can try to do include:

Smile more. Forget the phony smile. Mean it.

Offer praise. Make sure it is specific to an action that someone has taken or a project completed.

When someone around you offers a negative point of view, try to look for something positive in the situation. You are likely to find it if you look hard enough.

Surround yourself with happy people. If you spend lots of  time with people who only see the negative, it will get progressively more difficult for you

 Nicholas Christakis, a professor of medical sociology and medicine at the Harvard Medical School who has researched the emotions in social networks, found that having a happy spouse, or a friend or neighbor, who lives within a mile of you appears to increase the probability that you will be happy as well.

Consider keeping a “gratitude journal.”  Each night, write down two or things that you are grateful for.

No one is suggesting that you need only to wear “rose-colored glasses.”  There are times when we are frustrated and have to deal with bad things that happen. Just down dwell on the bad.  Celebrate your wins, and you are likely to find that increased productivity will follow.

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