Why happiness matters in the workplace and how you can promote it

Back in the days of the Industrial Revolution, people worked all kinds of insane shifts without so much as a smoke break. Fortunately, labor regulations changed to make earning a living a little more enjoyable. However, even with rules in place that protect the health of workers, your staff may not be the happiest - after all, the bare minimum is humane, not necessarily luxurious.

"Happy workers are 12% more productive than their peers."

You may wonder: Does it really matter if my staff is gleeful when they picture heading to work in the morning? The answer is yes. According to a study conducted by researchers at the University of Warwick, happy workers are 12 percent more productive than peers who aren't fulfilled at their jobs.

Happy employees are more productive.
Happy employees are more productive.

How do you make your office a more joyful place? Here are some tips for improving employee satisfaction. 

Consider environment
Aside from offering a huge salary and amazing benefits (if only), the environment in which your employees work can impact their moods. A dimly lit office, for instance, may make them feel like they're in a basement, hidden away from daylight - that can certainly drain a person. A well-lit space, on the other hand, can boost energy.

A study conducted by the University of Exeter revealed that green office spaces (those decorated with plants) produced happier staff that was more focused and productive. As such, you might consider giving your office an aesthetic lift with plants.

However, greenery isn't the only way to decorate. From hanging artwork to using unique features like a whiteboard wall, you have many options for bringing your office into the 21st century and making it a happier place.

Promote ownership In addition to making the workspace feel more inviting, you can alter the way managers lead. When employees feel they have control over their jobs and that their ideas are taken seriously, they're more likely to invest energy and passion into their work. Employees who feel ownership of the things they produce stick around and may even find fulfillment in what they do - that's something everyone wants in their careers!

Create opportunities for developing ownership, such as seeking opinions and ideas from your staff and actually using them. Also, show your employees you trust them to succeed. When appropriate, call out individuals for a job well done.

Communicating with your staff is perhaps the most efficient way to increase happiness. Scheduling face time with employees not only makes them feel heard, but it also allows you to ask what would make the job better. Be transparent, ask for opinions and discover ways to improve engagement by talking with your staff.

From updating your office environment to talking with individuals, you have plenty of tools for improving employee happiness. The work you do now to refine your company culture will come back to you in terms of greater productivity, so your investment is well worth it.

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