According to a new survey, happy employees are productive employees. In fact, compared to people who reported feeling “stuck” in their jobs, researchers found that the happiest workers were twice as productive, stayed five times longer in their jobs and were 10 times less likely to call in sick!

That’s a big deal when you consider that today’s employees say they only spend 78% of their time at work actually working! Meaning that in a typical five-day workweek, companies are losing an entire day’s worth of productivity, because workers don’t feel happy and engaged in their job.

So, how can we be happier and - as a result - more productive at work? Experts have identified four key factors that workers and bosses should focus on:

  • Have realistic goals. That means having deadlines for projects, and knowing the steps to take to get there. But it also means allowing workers to give feedback, in case there are problems meeting those goals. Because research shows that without feedback – like when a boss says “do this, or else” – workers are twice as likely to be unproductive.

  • Feel like you’re making a difference. Statistics show that today’s workers will leave their company within two years if they don’t believe that their job is worthwhile! In other words, workers will feel happier knowing they’re doing something that contributes to society as a whole – not just to company profits.

  • Bosses need to be fair. It makes sense that when decisions at work feel fair, more work gets done. Experts say it’s because when bosses hand out projects, promotions, or bonuses in an unfair way, people look for other ways to make up for what they feel is missing. Which is usually when workers slack off, equipment gets broken, and supplies start to go missing!

  • Confidence. Researchers say there’s a direct link between how confident workers feel, and how productive they are. And the best way bosses can help boost confidence is to let employees take responsibility for their work. So, stand back and let workers prioritize tasks, and encourage them to do what they’re good at.