Figuratively speaking, we spend half our lives in our offices. That’s quite a hefty chunk of our days. Our quality of life is significantly dependent on the environment that we work in. We really need to be happy to work in our offices, otherwise we are losing out on a good part of our lives being miserable.
Which leads us to the question about what makes an office a happy place to work? Now that question is completely subjective to perceptions as to what does happiness at work mean to people. From my discussions with HR professionals, I have come to record a number of observations. Most people attribute workplace happiness to a combination of a healthy manager/ supervisor – employee relationship, a flexible environment and respectful practices at work.
Every culture is unique. Every company has its own perspective on culture and employee motivation. Some companies pride themselves on their alluring benefits, while others talk about an open workspace and friendly culture. Some are more focused on business operations and do not consider employees an important stakeholder.
From the latter kind of businesses, arise the group of workers who believe they are stuck in a weird place and have no way of getting out. What’s important here is for companies and even small businesses to build a culture right from the start that motivates employees and integrates values that help them become more productive at their daily tasks.
Research shows that happy employees lead to happy customers. Motivated employees and a healthy culture that breeds motivation for higher productivity is good business thinking.
For most of us, all of this comes with diverging ideas on work ethics, freedom, autonomy and purpose. So then arises the question how can a business build a productivity driven or motivated culture that is suited to the needs of everyone working in the company.
Autonomy and freedom to work in their own way is an instrumental way to make people happier. When employees are given roles that demand creativity and out-of-the-box thinking, autonomy becomes even more important. I find this video a great way to start the discussion on this relevant yet difficult subject.
Do monetary benefits serve as the only way to motivate employees? As Dan makes a case for autonomy, I am left thinking about all the people I have worked with and wonder about how many employees would be better workers if they had more autonomy to contribute to a company. Surprisingly, most people when asked find this a wonderful idea and claim that they would be happier if their bosses trusted them more and gave them more autonomy in their job roles.
I agree with Dan when he says the everyone of us is dealing with their own version of the candle problem. So if we are working with creativity and conceptual skills to solve today’s complex business issues, we need to have the room to think out-of-the-box to be happy at work. Autonomy, mastery and purpose as Dan suggests can be the building blocks of building a happy culture. This is one clue in the big puzzle of motivation and may help businesses to create values that encourage higher productivity.
On the other hand, many companies make internal efforts like happiness workshops, stress management road shows and other forms of employee engagement activities. Key to building a happy culture is in integrating the right set of values that suits your business needs and leads to higher productivity.
Take a look at this really charming infographic that shows the anatomy of a happy office. Hope you will enjoy it.
Don’t forget to share your comments on the discussion and tell us what makes you happy to work better and more efficiently in your work environment.
On that note, have a great week!
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