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How to create a happy virus at work

Heidi Pollard - Monday, May 11, 2015
When it comes to the positivity or negativity of relationships at work, at home and at school, multiple studies have shown that mood is literally contagious. It’s not simply that happy people gravitate to each other and unhappy people congregate in the corner —the people adjacent to you can actually move your mood up or down.

This makes managing morale and protecting a positive company culture extremely important because one unhappy person can infect an entire team. On the flip side, a few satisfied, engaged, high-performance people placed strategically throughout an organization can spread happiness and produce even better results. As a leader or manager, investing in the architecture of your team or businesses social, communication and functional networks is critical to ensure optimum happiness and effectiveness.

Scott Crabtree understands this only too well. After spending 24 years climbing the ladder in the gaming and software industries, eventually leading a team at Intel, Scott observed that the happiest people were also the most productive. The difference was so striking to him that he retired and rebooted his career, founding Happy Brain Science to surface and share the scientific underpinnings of what makes people happy and how that makes them more effective at their jobs and in their lives.

"Happier people are more successful, more creative, energetic, resilient," says Crabtree. "They work better together. They absorb more information. They have more tools in their tool belt to help them handle whatever life throws them. They are healthier, they live longer—and they show up at work more often."

What science has proven and we also see played out time after time through our work at UQ Power is that happiness is not part of a person's genetic makeup, nor a product of circumstance. It’s a choice. We believe business is 100% a people game and that your experience of work begins with you.

Want to overcome adversity, change how you feel about going to work and create a happy virus in your workplace? Then watch this week's video to find out how.


Share the happiness, tweet this: At work today. Choose fun! #startwithU
Now I’d love to hear from you. Have you ever started a happy virus? What one simple did you do to change your world? Share your story in the
comments below.
Remember to #startwithU

Big smile
Heidi Alexandra


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Comments

Viv commented on 12-May-2015 09:08 PM
Thanks Heidi, great story and a powerful message...you dont have to instigate complicated expensive programs to change your world...a simple act of kindness is all it takes most times !
Trudy Scott commented on 13-May-2015 03:18 AM
What a lovely story about how the simple act of holding a door open and smiling can make such an impact!

Thanks for bringing a smile to my face!

Now I want to start a happy movement (I'm not too keen on the virus word!)
Mary Ellen Miller commented on 15-May-2015 08:13 AM
Heidi, I love the concept of a happy virus AND the warm fuzzes! How clever. I like that video and have seen it before. What a change agent he was through one simple act! Yay for Josh! I think I would love to adopt the warm, fuzzy story. Great idea!
Sue Painter commented on 17-May-2015 06:36 AM
We can all use a little more happy - and I do believe that at least to a large extent we can choose that state of mind. The positive effect on ourselves and others is strong, too!
Mitch Tublin commented on 18-May-2015 12:15 AM
The culture of a company and how people show up each day in terms of their attitude and mindset will certainly impact productivity and results. Aside from that why can't you have a great work environment surrounded by positive people?
Tiffany deSilva commented on 18-May-2015 05:36 AM
I love this video and how this young man was able to make such a huge impact with such a simple gesture. I work at home so I don't get to interact with co-workers, but I often say that energy is contagious. One's mood can definitely affect others. I have also found that I am definitely more productive and creative when I am happy.
Cathrine commented on 19-May-2015 10:16 AM
Happiness is very often a state of mind, I enjoyed the reference to the pencil research. Since watching your video I have tried to concisely choose happiness and smile more. I am a believer, thanks for sharing Heidi!
Jessica commented on 20-May-2015 10:20 AM
I love the Happy Virus idea. I worked for a company that rewarded the negative people in order to keep them from complaining (It did't work), and in doing so, penalized the top 10% who were leaders. The result was the great staff members would leave or become disgruntled. I was one who left and can say that office STILL needs a Happy Virus!
Tandy commented on 22-May-2015 01:08 PM
Great article. I agree that it only takes ONE negative person to make a really big negative impact on an organization. With a few positive, happy people running around highly engaged, this small group can really help your cause and expand happiness around the organization. When I worked in corporate America, I gathered these few positive people and got them on board with various projects and it helped everyone else get on board and 'be happy':-)

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    Heidi Alexandra has been the source of much information strategy and innovation that has seen me push the boundaries on social media internally and improved my local and national profile and that of my firm tremendously. Jeremy Kennedy, Director, Australian Business Lawyers and Associates
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