With a Friend: How to Be Happier at Work

by Scott Crabtree

You Can Choose Happiness at Work

Come play with us! Join Scott Crabtree, CEO of Happy Brain Science, on a journey through 100+ science-based solutions from our Choose Happiness @ Work card game!

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100+ ways to thrive at work!

This Choose Happiness @ Work card says,With a Friend: Do more things with others instead of alone because our relationships are a huge factor in our happiness. Working with others usually boosts our mood and effectiveness.”

As you may have heard from me before — certainly if you’ve been in a workshop with me — you may have heard what Daniel Gilbert, Harvard scientist, says. He says if you had to boil all the science of happiness down to one word, that word might be “social.”

We are social creatures, and solid scientific evidence suggests that even if you’re an introvert, your mood will go up with social contact with other people. Experiment with your own life. See what works for you.

Why It Helps to Work with a Friend

What the data suggests is that for most of us, most of the time, doing something with a friend will lead you to more happiness — therefore, more prime brain real estate coming online, so you and your friend do your best work yet.

If you’re like me when I was during a certain skeptical point in my career, you might think, “Why would I be friends with people at work? I didn’t pick them to be my friends. They’re colleagues that randomly came into my life.” Well, like it or not, you spend more time with people at work than anyone else in your life if you have a typical schedule. So why not be friends with those colleagues?

Gallup measures employee engagement with 12 statements that people agree or disagree with. One of those is: “I have a best friend at work.” A lot of people mocked that when Gallup came out with their Q12, but they came out with that because data suggests it drives engagement.

Having friends at work drives happiness and engagement, and therefore, success. So I hope you’ll do more with a friend. Thanks for choosing happiness with me.

We’d love to know what you think! Are you friends with any of your colleagues? How do those friendships affect how engaged and effective you are at work? Please comment below!

(This is part of a series of posts about science-based solutions featured in our card game and facilitation tool, Choose Happiness @ Work.)

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