Do you feel that you work in a happy office? Is it an enjoyable environment to work in? No matter what industry one may work in, I believe that it is always possible to create a happy working environment. Sometimes it can be hard, for example, if an organisation is going through a redundancy programme, it is going to be hard for a happy vibe to be created. However, in those situations, that’s when the team needs to pull together extra hard, in order to get through that period of time.
A study by Warwick University has shown that happiness makes people around 12% more productive. Employees who are not happy in their employment will maybe give 50-60% effort. But as we all know, employees who are happy and feel valued, will go over and beyond what they are required to give.
Karen Blackett, the chairwomen of MediaCom UK said in an interview with Harpers Bazaar in August 2016, that, ‘Any business leader with an ounce of savviness knows that if you look after the wellbeing of your staff, that’s going to have a tangible effect in terms of productivity and profitability’. Blackett regularly entertains her clients with their families at Legoland, and funds gym membership, office life coaching and mindfulness training. She allows employees a ‘Inspiration’ day off each month to pursue a personal passion.
Several months ago, I attended an event at the women’s-only health club, Grace Belgravia, and had the pleasure of hearing it’s founder and CEO, Kate Percival speak. She has launched the Fit for Business, Fit for Life awards campaign to recognise the organisations committed to supporting the health and wellbeing of their staff. She says, ‘There is a lot of rhetoric but not a lot of action on health and wellbeing in the office. In my second business, we had the idea for a communal lunch every Friday, but I think it happened only once. These awards are really about how committed a company is to making the workplace a pleasant place to be’.
Samantha Clark is a happiness consultant employed by organisations to conduct a ‘happiness health check‘. She has found that often it can simply be more flexibility in the workplace which can dramatically increase employee happiness.
I very much believe that creating a happy working environment is not rocket science, but I am frequently astonished by the number of managers who seem to be unable to create that sort of environment for their staff. For those who are not happy, the cost to the UK of sickness will continue to rise and the annual cost is presently £8.1 billion. Recently I have said to a group of managers that I have worked with who have been complaining about sickness within their staff, ‘If you want your staff to come in each day, you have to work at creating a happy environment so that they want to come in, and that they feel valued’.