H-A-P-P-Y (Part 2)

A couple of weeks ago, we talked about how a young man on a train, imbibed with an infectious dose of happiness while going on about his work, got us curious and lead to the revelation that happiness can boost workplace productivity by an astonishing ~12% and what we as team members or managers can do to make our workplaces a more happier place? [ you can read the previous article here ]

Well with the “why” out of the way, let’s now focus on the “how”. I recently came across an online post that said, “Happiness is a choice, not a result” and that “nothing will make you happy until you choose to be happy”. Well, though all of this sounds great, I still struggled with the question of why happiness is not our natural state and that it can only be attained through consistent and conscious effort. And as the online quote said, can we make ourselves or our workplaces happy, just by choosing to be happy?

As I thought more and more about this, I recalled the Second law of Thermodynamics, which states that if anything in this Universe is left by itself, it will move towards disintegration. This then suggests that our feable bodies and minds (when compared to the vastly more complex cosmos) is easily prone to disintegration and to feelings of anger, sadness, despair etc and that it requires dedicated effort to be on the opposite end of the spectrum, which is a feeling of calmness, contentment and happiness!

If the responsibility for happiness lies with us, how can we foster a joyful work environment with minimal effort? Drawing from my own experiences, here are some actionable steps to consider:

  1. Stay fit (exercise regularly, eat healthy, sleep well ) - you can read one of the blogs on how to stay fit during work trips here. While talking to your team members at breaks or at social events, make it a point to also talk to them about the benefits you are accruing from staying fit and how it might help them
  2. Reduce collective stress - as I mentioned in one of my earlier blogs, the single most important factor influencing our productivity is those around us. Adhereing to these best practises such as reducing email fatigue, constant follow-up etc, will not only keep you, but also those around you stress-free
  3. Cultivate a culture of work-life balance by respecting boundaries outside of working hours. Make agreements within your team to limit after-hours interruptions
  4. Demonstrate genuine care and empathy in your interactions. Actively listen to others' concerns, address issues promptly, and strive to improve the overall workplace culture
  5. Incorporate moments of joy into your daily routine. Take short breaks, stretch, listen to music, connect with loved ones, or enjoy a brief walk during breaks

In conclusion, as you would have noticed by now, most of the above measures are dependent only on us and it is we who have to foster happiness both within and around us for long lasting productivity in our personal and professional journey’s.

I hope this simple way of looking at happiness helps you shoot to the top!