Real happiness at work?

When we ask what makes you happy at work the vast majority of people say the people they work with. Yet, how conscious are you of your friendliness factor?


Gallup research reports that people who have a “best friend at work” are not only more likely to be happier and healthier, they are also seven times as likely to be engaged in their job. But should we be best friends or colleagues and where is the balance?


I have yet to see a Leadership or Management Programme in the world that includes the importance of being friendly as a core module, if being friendly at work creates higher levels of productivity, retention, and job satisfaction then isn’t about time we started focusing on our friendly factor?


One of the greatest blockers we see is the need to look and act “professional”.  This mask creates distance, formality and hierarchy.  It's also not impressive.  Again and again, we see people remove the mask, be themselves, and promotion follows.


Do you believe that lifting your “status” creates a persona of authority or are you so busy not delegating and doing it yourself that you are a one person silo?!


If you change the way that you are and communicate when at work, compared to when you are out of work, then you are reducing your realness, these behaviours reduce collaboration and connection between teams, and can make individuals feel out of the loop, isolated and lonely.


Here are eight questions to ask to connect and build rapport with people on a basis other than just work, such as; ''what’s the best thing that happened to you this year?'' or ''what excites you right now?’’ 


Is the key to connecting and having useful and real communication at work, actually about just being yourself?


Here are our top tips for bringing the non-work you into work, and upping your friendly factor:



  1. Remembering that our colleagues are funny and real people (even the ones you have discounted!), rather than just roles.
  2. Humanise your workplace by talking openly and normally – just as you would at home.
  3. Don’t conform, we often think of work as having to be professional and formal. None of us have ‘professional’ written on our hearts! Be informal and normal.
  4. When you need to achieve something, think about how you might ask a friend – and take that approach.
  5. Ask for help at least once a day. This may be an opinion, a prompt or an idea, but it’s a beginning.
  6. Give your help to others. We are all busy, make time to spend 10 minutes helping another.
  7. Book regular team time, and prioritise it. You don’t have to climb a mountain or build a raft (a waste of time), but simply being together, working, planning and focusing on your relationships together will bring you closer as a team.
  8. Step forward and lift your consciousness and level of interaction.
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