how to be happy at work

Work doesn't always bring to mind the most festive of thoughts. But taking time out to celebrate small happy things from a colleague's birthday to the kick-off of a new project will make you a happier, more productive employee and you'll have more fun along the way. It's a terrific way to teach your colleagues how to be happy at work, too.  Here are 5 reasons you should celebrate at work:

1) It brings people together: There is no "i" in team. By celebrating together it builds camaraderie and creates a more positive environment. And great news: happiness is contagious. Dr. Nicholas Christakis and James Fowler, researchers at Harvard and University of San Diego respectively, found that each additional happy friend increases a person's probability of being happy by about 9%.

2) Celebrating one moment effects many: Having positive interactions at work broadens our thinking. Suddenly, thinking about work is no longer about drudgery, boredom or frustration -- it now includes memories of laughter, personal stories and team work. 

3) It's free ... and it works: Recognition and encouragement are proven to boost workplace morale and productivity. And results are seen even without fancy compensation packages and perks: 69% of employees said they would work harder if they were better recognized.

4) Set bigger and better goals: Just a little bit of downtime to celebrate an achievement gives you the mental space to think big.

5) Confidence: Being recognized either as an individual or as a collective team allows you to take stock of your unique talents and what it took to overcome the challenges that landed you in celebration mode.