What is the international day of happiness? How can you make your employees happier?

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5 International Day of Happiness Ideas At Work

Times are tough with Covid. How can you make your on-site employees happier today?

We’ve got 5 fun ideas and activities:

The United Nations declared March 20th the International Day of Happiness.

The aim is to create a happier world for people everywhere.

Most adults worldwide spend more time (awake!) at work than anywhere else.

So if you’re unhappy at work, you’re unhappy for a huge portion of your day. That’s quite a depressive thought, right?

For professional fulfillment, workplaces worldwide need to start talking about how we can improve at work.

Let’s open up the conversation about how to get people to feel happy and proud when they retire.

How can we get more people to wake up in the morning and feel good about going to work?

What role can you, and your company play?

international day of happiness ideas at work

What is this Happiness Day about..?

The happiness day is about all of us being happier, both at work and at home!

Real change will require us all to work together in the workplace.

We, as a society, cannot afford to have this much human talent go to waste. Company profits drop because of the quality of workplaces, worldwide.

In most cases, this will also have a negative impact on the quality of people’s lives.

And this is what the international day of happiness is all about.

To advance the global happiness movement we need more managers to step up and get talking about mental wellbeing at work.

To have honest conversations about how we can create more workplace happiness.

What makes us feel fine, great or OK when we are at work?


Are you listening to your employees?

What separates good from great companies is that they act on the feedback they get from employees.

And improve together!

And that all starts with leaders who are interested in actively listening.

So that’s our NUMBER ONE idea for the International Day Of Happiness.

Carve out some time in your busy calendar to simply listen to your employees :)

Sounds too simple?



5 International day of happiness activities at work

Let’s look at some happiness ideas and activities for this fun day.

If you’ve got minimal time, don’t worry.

Just pick one activity:



1. Set the tone when your people walk in to work

Get your employees thinking and talking about happiness the second they walk in that door.

Hand out simple post-it notes where you’ve scribbled down thoughts, ideas, activities, or suggestions.

You could randomly hand them out, or if you’ve got more time, personalize the messages for each member on your team.

  • What is happiness to you?
  • What would make you happier at work?
  • What can I do to make you happier?
  • What can we do as a team? Something fun? When was the last time you smiled at work?


International Day Of Happiness Activities


2. Ten-minute meeting

If you’re not doing morning huddles, or daily shift meetings with your team – start!

It’s such a simple thing to do – and really helps everyone to be on the same page.

This will glue your team together.

Most leaders try to keep their daily meetings to a maximum of 10 minutes.

Plan a fun activity for today’s meeting.

Depending on what type of leader you are, first, think of something that comes naturally to you.

Next, think of your team.

Would they be OK with reading the post-it note they got from you earlier and replying in public?

I.e if I got the post-it note asking “What makes you happy at work?”, some will be totally OK with talking about it in front of their coworkers.

Others would rather disappear behind a machine than explain stuff like that in front of others.

And if that’s the level where you’re at, that’s fine!

Don’t force your people. Just invite them to reply with another post-it on the team board.

If they want to, of course.

Key take away for this activity:

  • This meeting is about you, as a leader, simply listening.
  • The goal is to celebrate the international day of happiness and learn more about your coworkers.


international day of happiness activities at work


3. Food!

Food is a great way to set the tone for any type of festivity.

Prepare a SURPRISE for their shift break.

What does the ideal Happiness Day cake look like?

Green smiley muffins?

international day of happiness ideas at work

With the current Covid situation you’d want to make sure to follow your company’s guidelines.

Perhaps that homemade chocolate cake your team loves can wait, and instead, think of other yummy solutions?

If you forgot to prepare an activity or something special, just stop at your nearest supermarket and pick a load of fresh fruit for your team.

Or announce that you’ll launch a fun Lunch Roulette soon.



4. Announce something positive – Finish the shift 30 minutes early?

Do you have some upcoming (positive) changes you could announce today?

If you’re in the fortunate position to adjust time schedules, an unannounced surprise could be to finish early.

Many won’t be able to adjust machines, productions, etc. but if you can, this is guaranteed to bring happiness to your workers.

Many office workers are so used to flex time, particularly during Covid and working from home, that they don’t realize the major impact this type of surprise could have.

If someone in the morning meeting mentioned their kids as the main reason for their happiness, that is probably where their 30 minutes would go to.

You can’t put a price on the smile when an absent parent shows up and picks up at daycare or school.

Something which they perhaps can’t do on a normal workday.

You could announce upcoming activities, like Crazy Sock Day next Thursday, or something fun you have planned.

It could also be an Open House you plan for after Covid, bring your kids to work or similar events.


5. Happiness Lottery!

Dig out some post-it notes and write everyone’s name on separate notes.

Leave it a company-branded bag or box.

Have someone else randomly pull out two or three names, and give out surprise gifts.

  • Could be an extra holiday (woohoo!), a cake from the local story, 4-hours flex time, a voucher for the supermarket…
  • If you’re in tune with your team, you will know beforehand what type of activity or gift they would appreciate.

Short for ideas?

Look at the post-it notes they left on the team-board from the first activity we recommended.

How can you make that happen?



What activities will you use to celebrate with your colleagues?

Happiness plays a big part in our professional and personal lives.

Happiness for me will be defined differently by someone else.

What is a happy work-life for you?

Either way, what unites us is that we would all probably like some more of it right now.

A Happiness Day is a good excuse to look for something positive and plan activities around it!

Are you planning to organize something small and fun for your team for March 20th?

Let us know!


We could all do with some fun activities at work…

Apart from the 5 international day of happiness ideas at work above, you can check out the 6 employee appreciation ideas from other Celpax users.

These tips can help you spread some happiness in your business on a day like today.

To sum up, things are tough right now with COVID.

Yet, together we can find many positive ways to look after ourselves and each other.

That is the first step to creating more happiness!




Boost morale at work with HR data

Smiley feedback terminal Celpax

hr metrics dashboard

Will your event on the International day of happiness have a positive impact on team morale?

Find out!

Rebecca Lundin, CelpaxHej! I’m Rebecca, co-owner at Celpax. We use simple tech tools and a data-driven approach to measure and boost morale at work. And build a better society while at it! Check out our employee morale survey.

Got more international day of happiness ideas at work? How are you celebrating this year? Say aloha to us on Twitter.

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