Habits of a Happy Employee at the Workplace

The happiness of an employee often links to the measure of success as an individual. The relationship between happiness and workplace success comes hand-in-hand.

If your employees are not happy at work, they are not productive and their work will eventually deteriorate, which would lead to loss of sales or profits. A happy employee generally demonstrates a positive performance at work and this improves workplace outcomes.

“Happiness comes before success.”

Your employees may say that they are happy with their job and tasks that was given to them. However, how do you know they really are? You could be the friendliest and open-minded manager or boss but your employees could probably be a little hesitant about telling you the whole truth.

To help you tackle this issue, we have listed the top habits of a happy employee at the workplace.


One of the habits of a happy employee at the workplace is a smiley employee. We do agree that smiles can be fake or not genuine just because employees are talking to their bosses. They could be putting up a façade but remember that real smiles can be seen through their eyes.

So when you are talking to employees, observe their smile and body language when they are talking to their colleagues or even when they are talking to you.

habits of a happy employee

Photo: Jens Bergander, Flickr

Showing up early at work

Some people may wonder that perhaps employees who show up early simply want to keep their jobs by avoiding being late. However, that may not always be the case.

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As an employer, you tend to realise that an unhappy, unmotivated employee often could not care less about clocking in right on the dot or leaving ten minutes late to finish a last-minute task. Take notice, employees who are happy at work does not mind coming in earlier to prepare for their morning meetings with clients or leaving the office a few minutes later just to get the week’s task completed earlier than the dateline.

Establishing positive relationship with colleagues

Establishing a positive relationship with their colleagues is another one of the habits of a happy employee at the workplace. While it is a personal choice when it comes to developing a personal relationship with anyone, a meaningful relationship is an investment.

Your company should try to cultivate a positive relationship at the workplace and if that have already been established, you just need to sit back and look out for those employees who choose not to mingle with their colleagues.

It would only make sense for employees to try and develop in meaningful relationships with their colleagues if they are happy and intend to stay with your company for the long haul.

“We are not a team because we work together. We are a team because we respect, trust and care for each other.”

– Vala Alshar

Taking part in after-hours work event

If your company throws casual or voluntary work events after office hours, you should already be paying attention to those employees who make an effort to show up and those who does not.

Employees who engage with their colleagues during the company’s after-hours event and show interest in the company are typically reflecting happiness with their jobs. When employees voluntarily attend these events after spending a whole day with the same people, it is a great sign that your employees are happy and do not mind hanging out.

Remember not to be too harsh with your judgement to whose employees who fail to turn up; their reasons could actually be legitimate!

A clean and tidy desk

One of the habits of a happy employee at the workplace is having a clean and tidy desk. There is a difference between being disorganised and being unclean. If your employee has a disorganised desk with paperwork covering up their desk, that is probably okay. However, it does not necessarily mean that they are unhappy.

It just indicates that unhappiness is uncleanliness. Cleanliness is a fundamental part of staying healthy, active, productive, and proud of situations in life. Employees who keep the workplace clean are likely happier in their positions than employees who do not.

An optimistic attitude

To find out if your employees are optimistic and happy about your company, ask your employees on their thoughts on the company’s current accomplishments and the company’s future. Listen out for the negative and positive comments given, and care for your employees mental health.

Employees who speak negatively may be reflecting unhappiness and those who speak positively about the company’s decisions are more likely to be happy with their jobs. Optimism about the company’s future can lift the spirits your employees and they serve as a great indicator of job satisfaction.

Pessimism leads to weakness, optimism to power.

– William James

Finding ways to save company resources

Another one of the habits of a happy employee at the workplace is when employees find ways or take the opportunity to save the company’s resources.

Things like switching off the air condition when it is nice and cold outside, turning off the lights when a room is empty or even reuse paper for printing unimportant documents. When employees are happy and truly invested in a company, it shows in their effort to make the most of the company’s budget.

Strong communication

Communication is strong, from the interns to the management team. In a happy workplace environment, you rarely see your employees being surprised by new changes or ideas they previously did not know about.

Everyone is kept in the loop and you or the management team are happy to ask their employees for solutions and advice.

My belief is that communication is the best way to create strong relationships.

– Jada Pinkett Smith

No Gossiping

Another habit of a happy employee at the workplace is when employees avoid any gossip. Although it can be hard to completely stop gossip, in any positive workplace environment; it is just not tolerated.

When employees are willing to resolve issues or conflict openly among their colleagues, it shows that your employees are happy at work and are thinking of staying with the company for the long haul.

Supportive of colleagues

A great workplace makes each employee feel encouraged by the other members of the team. Regardless if it was for a personal activity or a project at work, one of the habits of a happy employee is when they are supportive of their colleagues.

They take the trouble of going an extra mile, spending their own time and making an effort to encourage their peers to either be better or give encouragement.


Image: Flickr

Taking initiative

The final habit of a happy employee at the workplace is when your employee takes initiative any given day. Employees who are happy generally tend to take initiative and do minor (or even major!) task without being told.

While there are position and designation at the workplace, how often do you see your employees emptying the bin or changing the toner on the printer instead of waiting for the administrative staff?

In Summary

When employees are happy at work, they become more motivated to invest their personal time and effort, and overcome obstacles when pursuing their career goals. Here is a recap of the habits once again:

  • Smiling
  • Showing up early at work
  • Establishing positive relationship with colleagues
  • Taking part in after-hours work event
  • A clean and tidy desk
  • An optimistic attitude
  • Finding ways to save company resources
  • Strong communication
  • No “Gossip Girls”
  • Supportive of colleagues
  • Taking initiative

With this list of the top habits of a happy employee at the workplace, we hope you get to appreciate the happy employees and give them the recognition that they deserve. At the same time, reach out to those employees who are not thrilled to be at work.

All the best!

Heryati R

Heryati R

Heryati is a member of the customer success team at 6Q, and is based in Perth, Western Australia. Heryati enjoys writing, reading and live music. She believes 6Q is awesome for employee engagement surveys.