Given the amount of time you spend working and the importance of happiness to your wellbeing, consider taking action to positively impact the amount of happiness you and your coworkers experience.

What is Happiness at Work?

Happiness at work is an overall sense that you enjoy your time, feel personally driven, and know that what you do matters — at work.

Greater Good Science Center at UC Berkeley (GGSC) identified four key pillars that support happiness at work and provide a framework to guide our approach to happiness at work.

The four key pillars are:

  1. Purpose: knowing that what you do matters to you, your organization, and the world
  2. Engagement: showing up and applying yourself in a sincere and dedicated way that ultimately leaves you feeling fulfilled by your work
  3. Resilience: being able to bounce back from difficult moments in healthy and constructive ways
  4. Kindness: forming strong, supportive connections at work

You can use the PERK framework as a roadmap to build skills and implement strategies for more happiness at work.

What problems at work does happiness solve?

Science shows that when we cultivate happiness, it helps us handle stress better. Which is crucial because stress is the #1 cost of a work-first culture.

When people feel engaged and enthusiastic at work, they’re less likely to be absent, report intentions to change jobs, feel emotionally exhausted, and behave in ways that undermine other people’s performance. All metrics that indicate an engaged workforce.

What are the main advantages of happiness at work?

People who are happier at work are more creative, perform better, and are more productive. More happiness at work is also tied to a greater sense of balance between work and life.

According to Sonja Lyubomirsky’s seminal research, happiness at work predicts more career success and professional growth, and happier individuals go on years later to have higher incomes.

Being happier at work is also tied to easier, more effective collaboration and teamwork. People tend to reach more agreements and close more deals with happier people, and they have a greater willingness to engage in future interactions with them.

Happiness Practices to Increase PERK

Try these practices to increase your own happiness at work:

  1. Three Funny Things at Work
  2. Three Small Wins at Work
  3. Mindfulness at Work
  4. Gaining Perspective at Work

Experiment with these practices to be happier with others at work through kindness, empathy and compassion, and gratitude.

  1. Gratitude Challenge
  2. Random Acts of Kindness at Work

Read the instructions for each practice in the guide below and give one or more a try.

Our fast-paced world challenges us to pause and consider what’s most important to us and how to show up as our best selves. Having greater purpose, engagement, resilience, and kindness at work positively impact many health, relationship, and business outcomes. Everyone wins when we are personally happier and able to help others and organizations reap the benefits of happiness.

Note: This article is adapted from the work of Greater Good Science Center at UC Berkeley, a non-profit dedicated to exploring the roots of happy and compassionate individuals, strong social bonds, and altruistic behavior — the science of a meaningful life.


About the Author

I coach professionals to redefine how to work, parent, and achieve financial freedom without sacrificing wellbeing. Motherhood, marriage, chronic illness, divorce, remarriage, and caring for aging loved ones contribute significantly to my story. Together, we can help you reach your full potential — on your terms.

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