A satisfied employee is a productive employee, right? Wrong: a happy one is.
In 2009 a group of researchers at the University of Warwick did an experiment aimed at proving a link between happiness and productivity. By artificially increasing some subjects’ happiness levels with a comedy video, the Warwick researchers were able to improve those subjects’ performance on a subsequent math test. The researchers repeated this process over several days: they showed some subjects either a comedy video or a bland video before the test. Each time, the “happier,” comedy-video group scored better on the test. In fact, the happier subjects did 12% better on the exam.
The Warwick researchers had found a “striking statistical link...between well-being and productivity.” But they did not explain why this link exists. A few years earlier, in 2005, researchers at Cornell University concluded that happiness increases motivation, which, in turn, boosts productivity. In other words, a happier, more motivated person is more likely to prioritize “responsible work behavior.” This mechanism of action - happiness to motivation to work - helps explain why happier people are more productive.
Depression kills productivity by reducing happiness and sapping motivation. But, even when we are depressed, we can do things to boost our happiness enough to be productive. Just like the Warwick researchers, we can make ourselves happy enough to do what needs to be done.
Here are some strategies I use to improve my mood, motivation and, ultimately, my productivity:
Research tells us that happiness and productivity go hand-in-hand. Maximizing productivity means more than just being satisfied with your job: it means being a happy person. The Mood and Productivity Journal is made for people who understand that being mindful about happiness prepares you to rise to life’s most difficult challenges. Order your copy today or sign up for the mailing list and get a free digital lite version and experience the difference a better mood can make.
about the author
My name is Dana Johnson and I am the creator of the Mood Check-In blog.