What makes a happy worker happy?

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The qualities of a happy office

The qualities of a happy office (Fotokia, Getty Images / April 11, 2013)

Convinced, I asked, "Why?"

"I like the idea that I can come to work, have ideas and input on things and have that be listened to," he said. "I'm able to be a person who's not just executing other people's decisions, but a person who's actually brainstorming those decisions and making them happen."

Gough said he considers himself a generally happy person and believes that enhances his work experience — he tends to find more positives than negatives on the job.

We all have to take some responsibility to get our minds right if a pleasurable work life is what we're after. And we all need help from our employers, who hopefully can recognize that you get the most out of people when you put them in positions that breed contentment.

That's hard, so I'm not worried about running out of unhappy workers who need advice.

But if workplace happiness is a reasonable thing to want, then it's certainly a sensible goal to pursue.

If you're happy and think your company belongs on Chicago's Top Workplaces list, we are asking for your nominations. They're open to all employers, including nonprofits, in the greater Chicago area with at least 100 workers.

These companies and others that agree to participate will disseminate to employees an easy-to-complete, confidential survey developed by the Tribune's research partner, WorkplaceDynamics LLP, which will calculate the list of top workplaces in the Chicago area. Top performers will be recognized in the report, in an online directory and at a special Tribune-sponsored event.

There is no fee to participate, and every organization that takes part will receive feedback about its workplace. To nominate a firm, go to chicagotribune.com/topworkplaces or call 312-878-7356.

TALK TO REX: Ask workplace questions — anonymously or by name — and share stories with Rex Huppke at ijustworkhere@tribune.com, like Rex on Facebook at facebook.com/rexworkshere, and find more at chicagotribune.com/ijustworkhere.

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