Research shows that people spend a third of their lives at work. It’s a substantial amount of time; so naturally, you want to make sure you’re happy at work. 

Happiness at work is important for your professional success as well as your physical and mental health. 

Only when you feel happy at work each day will you deliver your best. At the end of the day, happy employees are productive workers. 

What Is A Happy Workplace?

A happy workplace is one where you feel a sense of belonging and purpose. It’s a workplace that makes you feel welcome and encourages you to become the best version of yourself. A happy workplace motivates you to work harder to achieve both individual and organizational goals. 

In a happy workplace, everyone has a sense of belonging. To be truly happy at work, it’s important to feel like you fit in. Fitting in means that your values align with those of the company. Organizational values can include anything from freedom of expression to how you conduct yourself with colleagues and clients.

Different types of organizations promote different work cultures and values. Harappa Education’s Navigating Workplaces course will teach you how to identify your organization’s values using the Competing Values Framework. The framework was developed by the University of Michigan professors  Robert Quinn and Kim Cameron. It classifies four types of work cultures and values in the corporate world. These are:

  1. Clan Culture—Collaborative

A clan culture is more family-like and tends to be more friendly and collaborative. It focuses on strong interpersonal relationships and open communication at work where employees share a bond.

  1. Adhocracy Culture—Creative

An Adhocracy, which comes from the word ad hoc, is a dynamic and creative work culture. Employees have more autonomy and are expected to take initiative and contribute new and innovative ideas.


  1. Market Culture—Competitive

Market culture is about getting the work done. It promotes healthy competition and employees stand out by achieving targets. The management encourages employees to succeed by performing well and being productive. 


  1. Hierarchical Culture—Controlling

A hierarchical culture is more formal and tightly controlled. There tend to be more policies, planning and a focus on efficiency in this work culture style.

Remember, an ideal and happy workplace will comprise more than one type of work culture and accommodate different workstyles.

How Complementary Workstyles Increase Workplace Happiness

Remember, happiness at work varies from person to person. For you, it could be your job role and growth in your career that makes you happy while someone else could derive happiness by interacting with others. 

If you want to be happy at work, match your work style with the organizational work style.  Identify where your skills and experience will be most useful.

For example, if you’re good at art and design and enjoy being creative and innovative at work, then a creative work culture will be ideal for you. But if you prefer working in a structured setup with formal rules and policies, you’ll shine in a hierarchy culture. 

It’s important to remember that workplace happiness isn’t only determined by the kind of work you do, but it’s also about the people you interact with. Navigating workplaces also means dealing with people and managing conflict. 

Let’s look at some useful tips on how to stay happy at work.

How To Be Happy At Work


If you often think about how to stay happy at work, that’s probably a sign that you need a change. This doesn’t necessarily mean that you have to search for a new job. But you must re-evaluate why you joined in the first place and what it was about the organization that drew you in.

Here are a few simple ways to achieve workplace happiness:

  1. Consider Where You Are

Remember where you are professionally and what brought you here. Ask yourself: what should I do to add value to my life and grow as an individual? Think about how working in your organization makes you feel. Are you satisfied with your workstyle? If your thoughts don’t align with your actions, you’ll soon feel burnt out and lose the motivation to perform.

One must keep evaluating where they are and where they would like to go. Then they can take the necessary steps to become happy at work. 

  1. Talk To Your Colleagues

Don’t shy away from reaching out to someone at work if something’s bothering you. This will help you deal with your emotions and come up with effective solutions. Rather than internalizing your worries, communicate and interact with your colleagues. 

For instance, if you can no longer work late or on weekends because of family commitments, then you should convey this to your manager to develop a workable plan together.

  1. Steer Clear Of Office Gossip

Office gossip is a slippery slope that you should actively avoid. It’s easy to get sucked into office gossip, but remember that being respectful of a colleague’s personal space is intrinsic to workplace happiness. 

It’s better to stay away from office gossip and have a professional working relationship with your colleagues. Separating your professional and personal life will give you inner peace and contentment.  


  1. Recognize Your Strengths And Weaknesses

Every organization requires a specific set of skills from employees in specific roles. You should make a note of what you’re good at and where there’s scope for improvement so you can deliver better results. 

Seek job roles that work well with your skillset. This will help you stay motivated and confident in your workplace.


  1. Check In With Yourself 

Check in with yourself regularly and keep track of your mental, emotional, and physical wellbeing. Ask for feedback on your job assignments, make improvements where necessary and assess your performance to stay on top of things. Don't get so caught up in meeting deadlines and achieving daily or weekly targets that you lose sight of the bigger picture.

Work cultures and values are often overlooked because people tend to focus on the type of work alone. You need a work culture that’s a good fit to be happy at work. For someone who likes autonomy, joining a controlling work culture could crush their spirit.

How Managers Can Create A Happy Workplace

We’re now seeing a perceptual change in traditional work practices. There’s a lot more room for independent workstyles, especially in a COVID-19 world when most of us are working from home. How do you promote a healthy work culture in this scenario? One way to do this is by scheduling regular meetings—both formal and informal—with your employees to stay updated on their tasks and ensure that they’re doing well. The leadership and management must cultivate a wholesome and harmonious work culture that’s valued by every employee.

Here are some more tips for increasing your employee's happiness at work:

  • Make your employees feel appreciated and deal with them empathetically. Try to understand where they’re coming from and what they’re going through before you jump to conclusions and reprimand them. 

  • Promote a culture that accepts differences in work styles and points of view if you want to show your employees how to be happy at work.


Harappa Education’s Navigating Workplaces course will teach you the importance of conflict management and how you can achieve greater workplace happiness by collaborating with your colleagues. Understand the culture of your workplace so you can fit in and at the same time, adapt to change. The course concepts and frameworks have been designed with real-world examples delivered by our expert faculty. Learn from their experience and equip yourself to advance in your career.

Explore our Harappa Diaries section to know more about the topic related to the Collaborate habit such as Teamwork, Importance of Rapport, Employee Engagement, Building Relationships, How to Say Sorry professionally & Work-Life Balance in order to develop your collaboration skills.

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