A few office plants, free drinks and a nice Friday afternoon get-together once a month – that would be a good start. But a truly stimulating workplace requires a little bit more than that. Why? Because work stress is the greatest occupational risk of the 21st century.
Because of their smartphone, people have the feeling that they have to be available day and night and are quickly distracted by a large amount of e-mails and social media messages. Moreover, open workplaces with a lot of environmental noise and uninspiring office spaces are not conducive to productivity – resulting in extra stress and more working from home. How to do that? See my number 1 recommendation below.
So, why create a happy workplace?
Although a lot of employees can now work anywhere they want thanks to the internet, cloud and smartphones, they still generally prefer the office as their favorite workplace. Therefore, the one important task for the employer is to create the most ideal working conditions.
This not only contributes to the good mood and health of their employees but also helps the organization itself. The happier and healthier the employee, the lower the absenteeism due to illness and the higher the productivity.
Change to new ways
To achieve this, organizations need to let go of their outdated organizational structures. Only with a hybrid office can employers meet the specific wishes of each employee. What do work happiness, employee experience and employer branding have to do with tea bags? Without a good workplace (with teabags) you are nowhere as an employer.
There is no place like home?
Most people know the statement “there is no place like home”, but the starting point for an employer should be a different one: there is no place like the professional workplace. So no practical, impersonal spaces with suspended ceilings, without atmosphere and other options. That is at the expense of satisfaction, productivity and health.
An investment in a well-designed, inspiring office environment is nothing less than an investment in the well-being and involvement of employees. Therefore, to remain attractive as an employer, organizations need to implement major changes. The current way of working is completely out of date.
New ways of working
Even with organizations that have once embraced “the new way of working”, there is hardly any freedom of choice. In practice, the new way of working means that you can only choose whether you work at home or in a boring office garden. That is very limited and not at all what people want. They prefer to be at the office, but a one-size-fits-all approach with fixed workplaces offers employees far too little freedom. Companies that do not understand this will lose the battle for top talent.
Make more human workplaces
Some experts have focused in recent years on “making the workplace more human.” They know how healthy office space and healthy work culture can make employees flourish.
Where one coach specializes in stress to combat burnout, and the other focuses on work-life balance or more exercise, they prefer to look at the whole picture. What does it take to keep people working productively in a sustainable manner?
In this age of war for talent, people are gone after a year or two if they can’t be themselves in the workplace. That is a waste of investment. People spend so much time at work. Why not make sure that everyone, male or female, of any cultural background, physically healthy or with disabilities, feels at home there?
“Feeling welcome” is the key concept for them. It sounds abstract but starts very concretely with a healthy office where there is enough daylight, fresh air and plants – for extra oxygen. Also look at opportunities to move. A standing desk helps, and hold that meeting outside, where you can walk together. Because yes, your body also wants something to stay sharp.
Need human office
Furthermore, calm colors such as blue and green help to focus. And if you are mad about noise in the office garden, then you should have the opportunity to work in a closed silent workplace or telephone room. People just need different types of spaces. Also to meditate, to pray, or to stay as a young mother. If people can’t be ‘human’ and have to put on a mask, it will cause more friction, stress and burnout.
You take your whole self with you in your work, and luckily so. If people can be themselves, you can see that in job satisfaction. Your employees are then your ambassadors, not your enemy.
For an employer, a positive corporate culture is something to keep in mind. It’s like a muscle, if you don’t train it, it becomes weak. “So give a compliment, and say you see how well someone is committed to you. Read here why this is so important.
Even help for financial resilience is part of it. People with problems or financial worries are more distracted and are more likely to get sick. It is not surprising at all to give workshops a few times a year on smart budgeting or arranging a cheaper mortgage.
For employers it all seems like a tough job. But it is much simpler than that. Just listen to people. The one needs something different than the other. Let people create and organize what they need. Who knows, they might think of something more inclusive than the Friday afternoon drink or a game of table tennis: for example a quiz or games. Maybe someone is much more competitive than you thought. Then you get to know each other as a person. An employee is a person – with a job title. That’s what it’s about.
The employee experience
The solution lies in a workplace that puts power on the employee: the happy office. This is an environment that offers the same benefits as a “standard” office, such as the possibility of collaboration, contact with colleagues and excellent technological facilities, and at the same time feels like home. The big difference is that the organization does not determine where and how people should work, but only establishes an environment in which employees are given complete freedom and can make their own choices.
Freedom of choice
Depending on the task or time of day, the needs of an employee may differ. Whether someone wants to focus, brainstorm or just need a different atmosphere, you have to be able to offer all this in one place. Every day is different. Every activity is different. It is the task of the organization to create the ideal conditions for this. Only then will you keep employees engaged, productive and healthy. The degree of freedom of choice within the office has a strong, positive effect on their involvement.
My own experience
For two years I worked in an industrial environment as a commercial manager, a job with lots of stress. You would have thought that I had a quiet workplace with my staff. However, the office was cramped, next to the factory and only separated by a glass window. The noise from the operational area with all kinds of machines and hammering/sawing was sometimes ear-splitting, such that a normal conversation or a telephone call was not possible.
You will say to yourself that you will live through it or that there will be an improvement, but hey, no such luck. At the end of those years, although I did not realize it, I was a complete nervous wreck and some of the others too. Yet, our bosses who had quiet offices themselves did not seem to care at all and just demanded the work be done. Suffice it to say that they did not get the best results.
I can tell you one thing: never under any circumstances let this happen to you, as your health is at stake. I know that it took me a couple of years to recover from all kinds of stress-related illnesses.
Final thoughts plus recommendation
A welcoming working environment is essential for any employee and I would say for any employer with a good sense of business as well. When people can work as a team in a happy workplace, the results will be optimal, their work the best and the company happy as well. You will keep talented people easily.
Take that step!
On the other hand, when as in my case, the working environment is totally not suited for the work required, people will suffer, mistakes will be made, irritation and frustration will set in and health issues will eventually occur. This should be avoided at all times!
If it happens to you take action by leaving and if this is not easy for you, start preparing your escape route by creating income for your own. I have described here one of the best possibilities that currently exist.
16 thoughts on “Can your Company be a Happy workplace?”
The fact that i have come to learn something tangible from this post is satisfying. The make of your website is nice and the simplicity of the color selection makes it beautiful. one major cause of the setback that was experienced at my former place of work was due to work stress. this is serious
Work stress is very serious and as a matter of fact I am writing two further articles on that topic.
finding a good article does not come by easily so i must commend your effort in creating such a beautiful website and bringing up an article to help others with good information like this. the state of happiness that was absent from my former place of work is what made me quit my job and decide to start my own business
Thanks for your nice words. I am happy to see that you walked away from a bad working environment, many more people should follow your good example.
Can your workplace be a happy place for the employer and the employee?
Your workplace can be your “happy place.” “Out of every goal human beings want to attain, happiness is usually the greatest.” Mind-blowing fact: The happier your employees, the more successful your company. Happy employees are more creative, innovative and dedicated than their unhappy counterparts. … Many studies & workplace reports show that happiness has a direct correlation to your business’s bottom line Constant noise can make your workday to come to a screeching halt. You may have a difficult time concentrating when coworkers, machines and other sources of noise turn the workplace into more of a carnival than a place where you’re supposed to perform the duties of your job. You must be proactive when dealing with workplace noise to either stop the noise. Just follow the tips as explained in this article and you will find happiness in your work place just like I did. When the noises from around my working place became unbearable, ( market place) then I applied this tips and everything was perfect.
I cannot agree more with you.
It is inevitably true that people lose their productivity when they are in such places where they feel like not belonging or depressed. Considering the demerits of various factors that the employees face, and also considering the overall work experience of the employees could help arriving at feasible solutions for a more cordial workspace.
This article really did take a look at various aspects an employee faces and also included a real life story that intrigued interest in reading.
Thanks for sharing this information and keep up the good job!
The real life story was not only there as an example, but more like a warning to employers and employees. Both, if necessary, should take steps to improve adverse conditions. As you have seen this will be in the interest of both.
hello, It is really amazing post. I really enjoy the post. It is one of the best writing about a happy workplace. It is really informative post.
Happy working place is a precondition for good work. A nice workplace is helpful for better work. Boss of the office should ensure it. So that is a needed thing for an office. That is why your post is a learning method for weveryone. Thank you for the post. I will share it with others.
Thanks for sharing this post with other people. I also hope many managers will read this article and heed its suggestions, so that everybody can win.
It is fun being your own boss, but it is much more interesting when you create a work place of your dream. An environment you love, I am a freelancer and a poultry farmer. I enjoy working from my farm and I draw more inspiration from it. I had to create an office right on my farm, very close to my pen. I must say that I love your recommendation – Wealty Affiliate . That is the best platform to learn and grow your affiliate business
Employees should have a big part in creating their work space and very boss should know that. Wealthy Affiliate, the one I am proposing, is one of its kind and an almost sure way to success!
This article is very useful especially since it is about the office environment in which we work every day. I can say that for me this office environment matters a lot and helps me to have a high level of efficiency and productivity when it comes to professional performance. I need a healthy office, as you said everyone would like it. Especially when there are many plants around us, fresh air and especially natural light. Fortunately, the culture of the company assumes this and recently the new statistics say that 96% of the employees are very satisfied.
In that case you have found the right place, but realize that not everybody is that lucky.
I totally agree with you. Most people spend more time at work than they do at home, so the working environment is very important. I have worked in factories, wear houses, offices and shops in my time and I know how horrible it can be working in a place with a terrible environment. I now work for myself at home, which is much nicer!
Hi Tom, working from home is the best thing that happened to me. I love the freedom it gives me to do what I want when I want it. I do not need to go to a boss when I need time for social appointments, I just go and do it.