Do Happier People Work Harder?

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Work. It's a huge part of life, and most of us do it daily. Conventional wisdom says that the work gets done, no matter how we positively or negatively feel about it. But a recent New York Times editorial offers insight on how important workplace happiness can be, not only for its individual employees, but for a company's overall productivity.

Article authors and researchers Teresa Anabile and Steven Kramer made some incredible discoveries when they collected 12,000 diary entries from almost 250 professionals.  What they found was at first disheartening; many of the study's participants were unhappy or unmotivated at their jobs, with the following potential result: "When people don’t care about their jobs or their employers, they don’t show up consistently, they produce less, or their work quality suffers."

However, when employees were engaged with interesting tasks that felt meaningful, they did their best work, and the feelings of accomplishment led to continued productivity. Additionally, the team found that employees are far more likely to have ideas on days when they feel happier.

The quote that ends the article really says it all:

"Working adults spend more of their waking hours at work than anywhere else. Work should ennoble, not kill, the human spirit. Promoting workers’ well-being isn’t just ethical; it makes economic sense."

Read the rest of their findings here. Have you witnessed happiness in action at your workplace? What have the effects been?

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