Happiness is contagious: Pass it on

Happiness is contagious spreading happiness in workplace

In this week’s blog, we wanted to share an image that we all loved here in our Fruit at Work office.

‘Happy’ is such a powerful word. We all strive to be it, we want others to feel it, but can someone’s happiness influence another’s?


A study conducted by Harvard Medical School and the University of California, San Diego found, “Happiness is a collective phenomenon that spreads through social networks like an emotional contagion.” That’s right! Happiness is actually contagious.


The study looked at the happiness of nearly 5,000 individuals over a period of twenty years. It found that when an individual becomes happy, the network effect can be measured up to three degrees. One person’s happiness triggers a chain reaction that benefits not only his friends, but also his friends’ friends, and his friends’ friends’ friends. Nicholas Christakis, a professor at Harvard Medical School and an author of the study explains further, “Everyday interactions we have with other people are definitely contagious, in terms of happiness.”


According to Harvard Medical School’s Office of Public Affairs, “Previous research has shown that certain behavior-based phenomena such as obesity and smoking cessation spread through networks like a social contagion, but this is the first to demonstrate that emotions can, as well. This research adds further proof to the idea that because we are all interconnected in social networks, our health is interconnected.”


Top 4 tips for a happier workplace


1. Greet your co-workers with a smile and ‘hello’ when you get to work, and take the time to ask after them.

2. Do as you would be done by. Earn the respect (and trust) of your co-workers by avoiding office politics and gossip.

3. Acknowledge and praise the hard work of others. Compliments go a long way!

4. Retain a positive outlook at all times. There is a solution to every problem. Remember, as John Lennon once said, “Everything will be OK in the end. If it’s not OK, it’s not the end.”


So as you sit down at your desk, have a think about what you can do to make your life and those around you happier. Because happiness is contagious – pass it on!


Image credit: H/34 in association with Meiklejohn Labs.