Career Development

16 Ways To Create a Happy Workplace

March 29, 2021

Employees who feel happy and content at their job are more likely to enjoy the work they do. Every employee in a business has the opportunity to craft a happy workplace for themselves and their colleagues. With a variety of tactics, both individual and team-based, anyone can make small changes to increase their joy at work. In this article, we explain why happiness in the workplace is important and discuss ideas to create joy on the job.

Related: 12 Team-Building Activities Your Employees Will Enjoy

Why is a happy workplace important?

Happy employees are generally more productive than their unhappy peers. Because they enjoy being at work, employees working in a happy workplace are absent less often, have fewer accidents at work and make fewer errors in their assignments. Businesses with happy employees and a positive workplace environment often save money because their employees are engaged and present.

Related: 15 Examples of How To Increase Productivity in the Workplace

16 ideas to make a happy workplace

You can take many approaches to create a happy workplace. Consider these 16 ideas to increase your individual and team-based happiness while working:

  1. Participate in team-building activities.
  2. Interact with your colleagues.
  3. Give recognition.
  4. Understand your value.
  5. Maintain work/life balance.
  6. Participate in wellness initiatives.
  7. Interact with positive employees.
  8. Use your autonomy.
  9. Get out of the office.
  10. Use the perks.
  11. Attend professional development.
  12. Foster trust and transparency.
  13. Adapt your routine.
  14. Help the community.
  15. Dress up your space.
  16. Move around.

Related: 10 Ways To Have a More Positive Attitude at Work

1. Participate in team-building activities

The best way to build team reliance and communication is through directly targeting and developing those skills. Many companies make team-building activities a regular priority to foster important relationships and build team unity. If you want to suggest a few options for your team, consider a scavenger hunt in the office, two truths and a lie or office trivia.

2. Interact with your colleagues

Make a point of greeting your coworkers each morning when you arrive and saying goodbyes before you go home. These small interactions should encourage connections between you and your coworkers, building friendships and relationships that extend beyond the workplace.

3. Give recognition

Think about how great you feel when you're recognized for your hard work. Help establish a culture of recognition by offering public appreciation for colleagues doing excellent work. More than likely, if you start the recognition movement, others will follow. Another option is to work with your supervisor to establish a formalized appreciation and incentive program for all employees to ensure they include all your coworkers.

4. Understand your value

Usually, employees that understand how their work contributes directly to the mission of the company enjoy their work more. If you're not sure how your work helps the company, talk with your supervisor. Once you understand the value you bring to the business, make it a reminder by writing it down and posting it in your workspace.

5. Maintain work/life balance

As much as you can, keep your work life and home life separate. When you're at work, make your projects and relationships with colleagues and clients a priority. When at home, focus on family, friends and enjoying your hobbies. Individually nurturing both your work and your personal life should help you enjoy both more broadly.

6. Participate in wellness initiatives

Many companies have started implementing wellness initiatives in the office to decrease employee stress and increase overall well-being. If your company offers wellness programs like yoga classes, gym memberships or meditation hours, take advantage of the programming. If you see a need for a formalized wellness program at your workplace, talk to your supervisor about implementing one.

7. Interact with positive employees

Some people naturally have a more positive outlook than others. As much as you can, spend your time with positive, happy coworkers. You might find that their joy and gratitude increase your own. When you do have to work with less-positive colleagues, keep a friendly, happy disposition to keep your spirits high and encourage your coworkers to do the same.

8. Use your autonomy

People who feel they have the space and authority to do their work independently often take more pride in the final product. Take advantage of your autonomy at work to innovate and create exciting new ideas. If you feel you could benefit from more independence in your job, speak with your supervisor about concrete ways you could improve your autonomy.

9. Get out of the office

A change of scenery can work wonders for creativity and productivity. Make it a habit to get out of the office regularly. If you have to work in your workplace, try to get away from your desk and outside during lunch or a break daily. If you have more flexibility in your work location, spend an hour or two working in a communal office space. You might consider speaking with your supervisor about working remotely occasionally if you find the change of location boosts your work productivity.

10. Use the perks

Some companies offer perks to their employees like paid time off, office snacks and meals and incentives for commuting by bike or carpool among others. Use these perks if they're offered as they're often considered a part of your compensation package. If there's a specific perk or benefit you and your colleagues would particularly enjoy or use, suggest it to your supervisor to see if they can implement it.

11. Attend professional development

Professional development is one of the best ways to grow your skill set formally. Additionally, attending professional development seminars or workshops shows your supervisor you're serious about your work. You should attend in-house professional development opportunities and any external events the company pays for.

If your company doesn't offer any formalized development opportunities, speak with your supervisor about specific events you're interested in attending to see if the company can give you the resources to go.

12. Foster trust and transparency

While a company culture of trust and transparency often begins with upper-level management, you can do your part to sustain it by trusting your colleagues and keeping your needs and concerns transparent. Hold regular meetings with your supervisor to address any work issues you have and keep lines of communication open.

13. Adapt your routine

You might find you follow certain routines and procedures with little thought as to their use or benefit. Regularly assess your processes and procedures to see if there are ways you can improve your workflow. Adapting your routines has the added benefit of keeping daily procedures unique and interesting.

14. Help the community

Some companies dedicate time for their employees to complete community service either as a whole organization or independently. Engaging productively with your community is a fantastic way to increase workplace happiness. If your company doesn't have a community service program, look into setting one up and recruit your colleagues to take part.

15. Dress up your space

Make your work area a comfortable and motivating space. Decorate it with pictures of your family and friends. Keep a cozy blanket on your chair and warm slippers under your desk. Add other personal elements, like a small coffee pot and cups, for example, that will increase your happiness and keep you productive.

16. Move around

While some jobs are highly physical, many involve sitting in a chair behind a computer screen. If your job is primarily sedentary, make an effort to get up at least once an hour and move around. Taking a walk around your workspace will get your heart rate up, give you a quick brain break from your projects and allow you to check in with colleagues, which are all mood boosters.


View More 

Top Job Casts of 2021

To close out 2021, we've curated a list of the most popular and helpful Job Cast webinars this year.

FAQ: Do I Need a Master's Degree in Computer Science?

Explore answers to frequently asked questions about earning a master's degree in computer science, including whether you need one and potential career paths.