Two Key Factors for Happiness at Work

If you don’t like the people around you, you hate showing up at work.

Jamie Naughton, Chief of Staff for Zappos, told me she used to think, “Happiness at work was more in your job duties.”

Two Key Factors for happiness at work:

Jamie said, “We wrongly believe a new job, promotion, or getting a new boss will make us happy.”


Who you work with has greater impact on job happiness than what you do.

Beware unhappy people. Unhappy people hate the happiness of others. Unhappy people aren’t happy until everyone around them shares their unhappiness.

Chronically unhappy people are shouting, “I’M NOT GETTING WHAT I WANT.”*

Tip: Happiness is found in meaningful service. Selfish people end up unhappy.

Connection and support:

“[Happiness at work is about a number of things] and one of them is connectedness.” Jamie Naughton

“Having best friends at work is really important. And having an environment where you feel like people support you and they’re more like family will make you happier.”

Jamie’s use of the term “support” reminded me of a conversation I had with Amy Lyman, Cofounder of Great Place to Work®.  I asked Amy if great companies put employees first or customers first? She said that it doesn’t matter as long as employees feel supported.**


Jamie explained that connection is about knowing people beyond their jobs.

  1. Know your team outside of the work they do.
  2. Treat co-workers like family.
  3. What’s important to them has to be important to you.

4 minutes with the Chief of Staff at Zappos:

Successful leaders create environments where people connect and feel supported.

What promotes happiness at work?

* I’m not referring to depression.

**Amy Lyman has been studying great workplaces over 30 years and helps create the Fortune 100 Best Companies to Work for® list.