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How ‘happy’ is your workplace?

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When you think about a “happy” workplace, do you think Google? All those creative-minded people at a beautifully designed work space, working on projects while the entire world watches. How could it not be happy within those walls?

You can use some of the same stra­­tegies used at Google and other offices to bring more happiness into the workplace. Examples:

•  Bring your best ideas to work. Author and management consultant Mark Murphy conducted a study and found that in offices where creativity and ideas were valued, employees are more engaged, according to the Chicago Tribune.

Unfortunately, a bevy of studies show that only a small percentage of U.S. workers consider themselves “highly engaged.” So American bosses have some work to do in creating workplaces that value creativity.

Tip: Can you spur more creativity in the workplace? Launch a contest, for example, asking co-workers for their best ideas in solving a vexing office problem.

•   Actively incorporate more of what makes you happy. It could be as simple as a small vase of flowers on your desk, starting your day off right by making your bed, or setting a standing lunch date with a friend who makes you laugh.

Before you decide that you need to overhaul your career or find a new job, start with a few tweaks.

•   Remember to exert control where you can. The more powerless you feel, the less happy you’re likely to feel. So remember that you always have control over your reactions, though it isn’t always easy. You can always change the way you respond to your environment. Focus on the present moment or step out for a walk.

— Adapted from “Being Happy Takes Work,” Alexandra Levit, Alexandra Levit’s Water Cooler Wisdom.

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