While it might sound trivial, building a happy team at work is imperative for business success, and the mood of your team can impact everything from overall morale and staff retention to productivity levels and talent attraction. But it’s not enough to simply provide a pay rise or ensure basic needs and benefits are met. There are several other things you can and should do to ensure your teams are happy and content at work.
In this blog, we’ll provide you with some top tips for making employees happy and how you can create a happy workplace for all your employees.
What makes employees happy at work?
Before you can start making changes in your organisation to create happiness, it’s a good idea first to know what makes employees happy at work. While every employee will be made happy by different things, some are universal and make almost everyone happy.
The first thing that contributes to employee happiness is often the work environment, and it’s also one of the easiest to change. The office environment includes everything from the layout and design of the office to the noise levels, temperature and lighting. For example, a study by Staples found that a third of workers would be happier at work if they had better office lighting.
How your employee’s work can also have an impact on their happiness. For example, a recent study found that remote workers were 22% happier with their jobs than on-site workers. That’s not to say you should close the office and completely move to remote working, but it’s worth giving employees the opportunity to find out if it would make them happier.
Organisations that prioritise work-life balance are also thought to invoke more happiness than those that do not. When a positive work/life balance is achieved, workers feel more motivated, making them feel happier and more likely to stay with the company.
What makes a happy workplace?
We mentioned above that happy employees are content with their workplace, so prioritising the office environment is key. For remote workers and dispersed teams, achieving this outcome can be a little trickier, but for organisations with employees working from a permanent or temporary office space, the environment can be controlled more effectively.
In simple terms, a happy workplace is an office space that employees want to work in. It makes them feel energised and motivated to complete their projects and it’s an enjoyable space to work in. While the ideal office environment will differ for most people, some studies have shown similarities in the types of office space that make people happy.
For example, research has shown that employees are happier when working from a coworking or flexible office space, while other research concluded that a private office enabled workers to be less stressed and concentrate more, leading to increased happiness. Workspaces that encourage breaks and have areas to relax are also thought to increase happiness by allowing staff time to refresh and look after their well-being.
When it comes to establishing a workplace that makes your employees happy, there’s no ‘one size fits all’ solution, so it’s a good idea to find out from your employees what would make them most happy in their office space.
How to create a happy workplace
When considering how to create happiness in the workplace, there are several things you can do. But before you get started on making changes, we always suggest having a conversation with your staff to ensure your efforts are placed in areas that would make the most impact. For example, there is little point in building a recreational area in your office if it’s not something your staff will use or gain joy from.
With a recent study showing that 79% of employees are happy in their role, there are plenty of good examples of things you can do out there, and here are some of our favourites:
Build an environment that fosters collaboration
Collaborating and socialising with others is known to make people happy, so providing an office space that makes it easy for people to collaborate should be a no-brainer. A 2020 study found that people who had more social interactions were happier on average than those who interacted less.
Providing communal areas and opting for open-plan office space can help ensure your workplace is more collaborative. It’s also a good idea to remove barriers to communication where you can, especially with remote workers who might not benefit from a collaborative office environment. Encourage weekly catch-ups or social events that give people the opportunity to engage both in-person and online.
Shared offices or coworking spaces are a great option if you’re looking at office space for rent as they’re usually open-plan and include several other amenities that can help promote happiness in the workplace.
RELATED: Benefits of Coworking Spaces
Create a culture of openness and transparency
Being open and honest with your employees can build trust and lead to more happiness in the workplace. It’s important to share your company mission with your employees so they feel connected to the business values and understand how they are contributing to the organisation’s success.
Staff surveys are also a great way to help develop a transparent culture. Ask your employees how they feel about different aspects of the business and their workplace before sharing the results. If there are positives in the report, shout them from the rooftops, and if there are areas for improvement, be sure to share these too, along with actions for making them better.
Prioritise work/life balance
With more businesses moving to remote or hybrid working practices since the COVID-19 pandemic; it’s become more important than ever for organisations to prioritise work/life balance. People have realised how important it is to enjoy their work alongside a rich and fulfilling life, which isn’t possible if employers don’t care about balance and its happiness to their employees.
Promoting a good work/life balance is no longer a ‘nice to have’, it’s essential. If your business doesn’t actively encourage a better work/life balance, your competitors will, and you’ll run the risk of losing your best talent.
Create spaces for breaks and encourage well-being
Employee happiness in the workplace isn’t just about the actual work being completed. Businesses need to pay attention to employee well-being and ensure that workers feel like their welfare is important. Encouraging employees to take breaks and making this part of the culture is a great way to look after employee well-being and build a happy workforce.
Creating spaces for employees to take their breaks away from their desks is essential. No one likes eating their sandwich over a keyboard with the constant temptation to respond to emails or carry on working. When employees are well-rested and refreshed following their lunch break, they’re more likely to return to their desks feeling active and motivated to carry on with the day.
How to measure employee satisfaction
It’s one thing to make changes that promote a happier workplace, but it’s also important to measure employee satisfaction to ensure your changes have the desired impact. Here are some things you can do to measure satisfaction among your employees:
- Encourage anonymous feedback at any time, enabling employees to speak freely without the fear of repercussions
- Ask your employees for their input through 1-1 meetings or company-wide employee satisfaction surveys to find out exactly what employees are happy and unhappy with
- Put a number to employee happiness and measure the extent to which employees are satisfied with their job using the Employee Satisfaction Index (ESI)
- Give employees access to a ‘suggestions box’ that can be used to measure how satisfied people are with the implemented changes
- Use the employee Net Promoter Score to find out how likely employees are to recommend your company as a place to work
Using office space to promote happiness
If you’re currently seeking an office for rent that is already equipped or can be tailored to suit the needs of your organisation, browse Easy Offices’ list of serviced office space locations and find the perfect space for building a happy team in your business.