A few months back, in episode 12, we discussed happiness at work. What makes us happy (food)? What makes us unhappy (not having food)?
We take a look at some simple (and some not so simple) office changes can really improve office happiness.
What constitutes a happy workplace?
We have been arguing in the office to try and determine what little perks we should add to the business, ranging from free food through to a much needed pool table (my idea).
Whilst there are so many alternative perks that could potentially add ‘happiness’, podcast 12 explores these in a little bit more detail.
Stand up desks
Love them or hate them, stand up desks are the new hype. By encouraging staff to be fit and healthy, stand up desks have been known to improve productivity and health!
A recent study revealed that men who sit six hours or more a day have an overall death rate that’s 20 percent higher than men who sit for three hours or less. For women, it’s 40 percent. By adding in stand up desks in office environments, employers are essentially looking after your health!
The University of Sydney found that workers who combine sitting and standing during their work day reported being more happy and energised.
Personally, I tried the stand up desk and found I am too lazy. But each to their own eh?
Side note: since recording this episode over half of our office now use stand up desks!
A Relaxed environment
Now then, some people love dressing up to the nines whereas others prefer to work in casual. I am in the middle but knowing that I have the flexibility to wear whatever I wish (within reason) is a great benefit for me and I assume many others. At our office, one of the greatest perks is that you can wear whatever you wish to wear, from pyjamas through to power suits.
By encouraging a relaxed environment, you are essentially promoting creativity in the workplace.
Break away area
Encouraging employees to take a break should be a given really. However, I have worked in some amazing places where all our meals were provided for free. Cooked freshly by a chef in our bespoke kitchen. At the time, I thought ‘amazing’.
However, I soon realised that we were not taking any breaks and simply shuffling from our desks to the kitchen area. Breaking away for 15 minutes to eat and then go back.
Nice perk by the bosses but soon became apparent it was a ploy to keep us in the office!
Bosses, managers and team leaders should encourage all employees to take at least 5 minutes per hour away from the screens. Not only will this help with motivation and health but some of my best ideas have been when circling around the office, away from my desk.
Did you say a slide?!
Being in Client Services, I am always in awe of agencies and creative businesses who have slides, swings, bean bags etc in the office.
Having recently visited an office nearby, I was in amazed by their location and their internal decor. I came running back to the office to explain that not only do they have a coffee shop, their furniture and even their slide was something we needed to do internally. Obviously, not appropriate for all premises but it did get me thinking.
Yes, you can fit out your office with all sorts of quirky gadgets and designs but realistically, how often will you use it? Will you be swinging your legs in the air or sliding down from one room to another in a skirt and heels?
Happy happy happy
Whilst the above is merely a snippet of what we discussed in episode 12, the bottom line is that to encourage happiness, you need to hire the right people. Some are naturally miserable but generally speaking, diversity in the workplace will encourage a happy workplace.
A simple hello and ‘Good Morning’ to your colleagues will suffice.