An HR Practitioner's Guide to Happiness at Work

May 18, 2017 · 3 min read

Jacqueline Breslin is a director of human capital services for TriNet.

Whether we are currently working in the perfect job or still seeking that perfection, we all want to be happy at work. Here are a few tips for finding workplace happiness, wherever you are in your career.

1) Take advantage of your company

I am not suggesting stealing the office supplies but I am recommending that you maximize the perks. Does your company provide you with great technology to get your job done? Appreciate those tools and learn them inside and out to maximize your productivity. Tuition reimbursement? Don't leave a penny on the table. They are willing to invest in you; you should care enough about your career to accept the investment. Do they provide you time off to volunteer or match a donation you make to a charity with a donation of their own?Don't let this go to waste.

Look for the silver lining at work. Great perks lead to workplace happiness.

2) Choose your circle of colleagues wisely

Stay away from the grumpy co-worker who finds fault at every turn. The negative nay-sayers will drag you down. No matter how much you love your work and the opportunity you have in front of you, their words, their emails, their bad attitudes will change you. On a tough day, you will suspect that they are right, which can cause you to say or do something you may regret later. Grouchy people will make you unhappy.

Find the optimists at work. Those people who are happy to be there can point out the strengths of your workplace and sometimes get you to see the good things you are not seeing.

3) All work and no play makes for one stressed-out employee

Take breaks and slow down. Don't work every paid company holiday because it is quiet and you can get so much done. Your company provides paid time off to allow you to recharge. You won't be of benefit to anyone if you keep your foot on the accelerator constantly.

Most small and midsize businesses (SMBs) run lean and employee guilt is rampant. Sometimes, employees get concerned that if they take a day off their already-overburdened colleagues will be buried alive having to cover for them. Let this type of thinking go. At the very least, take a Friday off and prove to yourself that your company will still be standing when you return. Time away can be a wonderful happiness boost.

4) Stop practicing disastrous thinking

The worrying worker leaves little room for happiness. The doomsayer drags themselves and everyone else down. We all know the long, sad list of workplace challenges that SMBs face: downsizing, employee attrition, salary cuts, fast growth without enough staff to support the success. Many employees have wasted lots of time and energy waiting to get the call regarding the next disastrous change.

This negative thinking doesn't serve you well. Most of the things we worry about never happen. What if, instead, you spent your worrying time instead thinking about how you'll handle that big promotion you'll get? Instead of thinking "my boss is calling, it must be bad news," think my boss is calling, I anticipate a great update and look forward to having a good conversation.

If you erase negativity from your mind and spend time thinking about a better, happier work future, you'll be on your way to making it a reality.

This communication is for informational purposes only; it is not legal, tax or accounting advice; and is not an offer to sell, buy or procure insurance.

By Jacqueline Breslin

Jacqueline Breslin is a director of human capital services for TriNet.