With all the ailments associated with workplace stress, it may seem a bit surprising that the results of a recent study suggest logging more hours at work may actually be making some of us happier, at least here in the United States. The research was published in the Journal of Happiness Studies.
Researchers surveyed both Americans and Europeans, inquiring about the number of hours worked, and found that Europeans describing themselves as "very happy" plummeted five percentage points—from 28 to 23—when work hours surpassed 60 hours a week. Americans, on the other hand, reported happiness regardless of hours worked.
Here's a rundown on how to be happy.
• Request to work from home. Studies consistently find that allowing workers to work from home (typically one or two days a week) increases productivity and boosts workers' health and well-being. Here's how to pitch your boss on working from home. If you're stuck in a miserable situation at work, use intimacy to counteract the stress of it: Sex at Home Counteracts Workplace Stress.
• Get infected. Researchers from Harvard University and the University of California have discovered that happiness can be spread up to three degrees, meaning you don't necessarily have to be around the person who's infecting you with good cheer. For example, someone may have made your friend happy, and that in turn could spread to you when you're around your friend.
• Don't focus on a paycheck. Thinking about picking up a second job for extra cash? Weigh the options, first. Research shows that earning an extra $5,000 in extra income a year results in only a 2 percent boost in happiness. Conversely, if your friend's friend's friend is happy, you'll likely experience a 6 percent increase in happiness. Instead of working more to earn more to buy more, instead treat your self to something simple, such as listening to your favorite CD on your way to work. The boost in mood is likely to rub off on your coworkers, family, and friends.
• More ways to be happy:
Published on: April 25, 2011
Updated on: February 1, 2012