Ever Wonder Why Your Co-Worker Is So Happy?

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November 2, 2013 ‐ By Ann Brown
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Are you happy at work? It all depends on out outlook on life, writes researcher Shawn Achor in his new book, Before Happiness, reports The Huffington Post.

So what do happy people do at work? They turn negatives into positives, Achor explains. Do you look at  work situations as “stress” or “threat” or “I am powerless.”  Or do you look at work challenges as positive calls to action?

“Someone who has learned to add vantage points may still see some of these descriptors, but he or she would also see additional ones, like ‘human being,’ ‘mentor,’ ‘opportunity to impress’ or ‘key to promotion,’” Achor writes.

They also revamp their cubicles so that their workspaces reflect who they are. “It turns out that a portion of workplace happiness depends on the freedom to personalize your surroundings, found a study at the U.K.’s University of Exeter. When they decorated their own workspaces, office workers were not only more upbeat and motivated but were 32 percent more productive than in the usual bland office setting.

Happy workers also have a happy face. Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg, in her book, Lean In, she recalls that after an hour of beaming broadly, she genuinely felt happier. There’s even science to back this up.

And they communicate with co-workers. A study at the University of Wisconsin-Madison found that– conscious of it or not — offering to lend a hand to others at work actually makes us happier–as long as they still have time to do your own work. “Work altruists” are 10 times more likely to be motivated at work, writes Achor. And, they’re apt to get promoted, too. And socializing with colleagues is the only thing that makes us almost as happy as we are when we’re not at work, found a study at the London School of Economics. 

There’s one thing that definitely doesn’t make people happy — when they break down their earnings by the hour. A study at the University of Toronto foudn that workers don’t like to be reminded about how much money they make–or don’t make–per hour.

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