October 29, 2015

What Makes People Happy at Work?


A happy workplace is a productive workplace. One study found that happy employees are 20% more productive than unhappy employees. With numbers like that, it makes sense to consider workplace happiness as a vital part of doing business, but it quickly becomes clear that creating workplace happiness can be a challenge.

Make Your Workplace Happier

A recent survey from Lavazza Professional interviewed over 3,800 workers in six countries to gain insight into collaboration, engagement, well-being, and productivity. Unsurprisingly, many of the things that give us satisfaction in the workplace are the same things that give us satisfaction in life:

  1. Recognition
  2. Rewards and Incentives
  3. Flexibility

Using these three as your guide, you can start working towards a happier, more productive workplace.

Workplace Recognition

When asked what makes a great moment at work, survey respondents from the United States and United Kingdom overwhelmingly responded that feeling appreciated is the most valuable moment.

Now think about the last time you recognized an employee or coworker for their contribution. It’s entirely too easy in our busy work culture to overlook recognition once the work is complete, but this step is vital for building a happy, collaborative workforce.

A simple gesture like a sincere thank you email, a public shout-out or a friendly cup of coffee can make someone’s day and let them know they are a valued member of the team. Make it your goal to recognize at least one coworker for their contribution this week!

Employee Rewards and Incentives

While bonuses and a transparent compensation structure are always highly valued, there are many other ways to incentivize the office. Extra vacation days, team building events and celebrating wins all go a long way to make people feel rewarded.

Another important incentive is drinks in the workplace. Between 67% and 80% of respondents globally value drinks to support engagement, collaboration, productivity, and well-being.

When drinks are not available, respondents believed their day would be in decline. 62% of people expected a decline in well-being; 54% expected reductions in engagement and productivity; and 46% said that collaboration would suffer. Providing an assortment of coffee, tea hot chocolate and even specialty drinks not only keeps the office running, but it also provides an opportunity for coworkers to connect over a drink. Cheers!

Work Schedule Flexibility

We no longer live in a nine-to-five world. With the office only a smartphone away at all times, it can be hard to disconnect. Providing workers the flexibility they crave while balancing productivity can be a challenge, but there are some ways to help make flexible hours work:

  • Set ‘core hours’: Some teams are establishing certain hours when everyone is in the office – for example, Tuesday through Thursday from 10am-3pm. This ensures that even if team members are flexing their hours outside of the core hours, there is consistency in when the team can get together face-to-face and advance the work.
  • Pay attention to project cycle: Ensure that teams are face-to-face for certain key points in projects, particularly at the very beginning for scoping or kickoff, at key decision points, or points of celebration.
  • Consider colleagues: Actively promote coffee chats among colleagues, face-to-face team time, and afternoon teas that encourage cross-sharing of ideas and problem solving.

Workplace happiness doesn’t happen overnight. However, by taking it one step at a time and examining what really makes people happy at work, you can quickly find actionable, easy items that will make your office more productive, happier and more collaborative.

Ready to try the FLAVIA® system in your office? Request a free product demo today!