What Makes A Workplace Happy?Natalie Wilson
By definition, a job is neither enjoyable nor fun. Work is supposed to be hard and dealing with stresses day in and out is also hard. Finding the right balance between the pressures and stresses of work and enjoying your life outside of work can be difficult, but knowing how to counterbalance this and being happy at work is vital for your mental health and your career success and growth.
One of the most important things that companies have developed over the years is the ideology that both fostering and encouraging a happy and fun work environment which inspires employees to take pride in what they do can bring huge benefits, not only to the employee but to the business as well. As the saying goes, happy employees are loyal ones, and loyal employees can do amazing things. Many of the industry leaders, including Google, SAS Institute and Apple cite this as being one of their successes. But, what actually makes a happy workplace and can you help to improve your working situation?
Being Surrounded By Happy Personalities
Working with and being surrounded by people who are going to make your work life happier is something which will have a huge balance on how happy you are overall at work. Even though employers want the greatest candidate on paper, often they aren’t the best people to bring into your office environment, so finding the right balance between the two is vital for your company.
Be aware of how you feel around the people at work. Do they tend to focus on the positive or negatives? Do they make you laugh and smile? Can you see yourself building relationships with them? Being surrounded by people who make you happy is vital, and a person who brings doom and gloom into work is likely to kill off any motivation and productivity. Coworkers who make your life uncomfortable or are affecting your happiness at work are one of the most common reasons for people to leave their jobs or to dislike what they do.
If your company is made up of employees from overseas, often these coworkers will feel more left out than everyone else. For them, forming new friendships in a new place can be daunting, so be sure to include them when you can. Get to know them, listen to their stories - perhaps they have long term plans for moving to England from US and you can find out their hobbies and likes and dislikes. They may end up being one of the happiest personalities in the office!
Breaking Away From The 9-5 Work Routine
When we are busy, we tend not to focus on the bigger picture, instead of focusing on what it is we need to do. This then prevents us from being able to see perks or small things which may make the workplace a happier place to be in. The lull of a 9-5 can sometimes get tiring and it is only natural that we need to have a break away every once in a while.
Some employers show their understanding of this by planning fun days out, such as a day at the theme park or visiting the cinema in the afternoon. Even just small surprises, for example, a mid-week lunch out or a visit to the newly opener bar after work. People like to do nice things and spending time away from the office and bonding with your coworkers is a great way to make your workplace that little bit happier.
Employers Who Show That They Care
There is a workplace phenomenon known as the Hawthorne Effect, which proved that there is an increase in workplace productivity when people feel as though they are cared about. As employees, knowing that your manager or boss cares about your wellbeing makes you happy, but this is also something that coworkers can do with one another. This doesn’t mean that you need to spend hours in the break room chatting about how everyone’s lives are going, but instead remembering to take the time in the mornings to ask “how are you?” to add a little spring into people’s steps.
Managers can show that they care by offering small things, such as a coffee machine, water cooler or a nice break room, which can enable you to get away from your desk or workplace for a little while during the day. Even supplying notebooks and stationery is known to improve employee’s happiness levels, thus boosting productivity. Everyone wins!
Focus On The Positives
A lot of people and workplaces get caught up in the negatives. Often, they can debrief after a big project by going over what hasn’t worked or what has gone wrong when instead they should really turn that around and focus on the positive aspects. Workplaces should focus on the positives moving forward, rather than dragging people back with the negatives. However, this doesn’t mean that you should ignore the things which should be improved upon, it just means that should you look for the good, then you will find it. If you spend time wallowing and looking for the bad, then everything will seem bleak in comparison.