Being Happy at Work Matters

By Annie McKee

People used to believe that you didn’t have to be happy at work to succeed. And you didn’t need to like the people you worked with, or even share their values. “Work is not personal,” the thinking went. This is bunk.

My research with dozens of companies and hundreds of people—along with the research conducted by neuroscientists like Richard Davidson and V.S. Ramachandran and scholars such as Shawn Achor—increasingly points to a simple fact: Happy people are better workers. Those who are engaged with their jobs and colleagues work harder—and smarter.

And yet, an alarmingly high number of people aren’t engaged. According to a sobering 2013 Gallup report, only 30% of the U.S. workforce is engaged. This ...

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