#HR Trends and Insights

What Makes a Happy Workplace?

February 22, 2018

HappyEmployee.jpgWe’ve provided some great ideas for employees to jump-start their day with some creative commuting tips. But we all know that there are challenges and deadlines throughout the day that can trigger stress and negative feelings, which in the end, impacts success and productivity. The good news is, employers are doing more to create workplaces that offer more support, balance and positive energy to create happier workplaces. Here are a few of the latest trends. 

Lighten Up! (Or Down) 
In a study by the American Society of Interior Design, 68% of employees surveyed said they were not happy with the lighting situation in their offices.  Dim lighting has been cited as a major culprit, making the eyes work harder and causing headaches, eye strain, and drowsiness. The other culprit is the opposite extreme–lighting that’s too harsh and causing the same ill effects.
Employers are recognizing the importance of natural light, which according to research helps to heighten mood. But when there is a lack of access to windows, experts recommend “blue-enriched” lighting that can increase mood, alertness, and focus.    
Let the Outdoors In 
Spending a majority of time in an environment of artificial lighting, glass and steel can leave one feeling isolated and emotionally cold. Nature, on the other hand, connects us with our more basic instincts and can bring a sense of balance that helps us to take stress in stride. Which is why green office designs continue to be a growing trend creating office spaces plant covered walls, flowing water, floral dividers, and indoor and rooftop gardens.
The office as an oasis lifts moods and increases innovation and productivity. A Harvard study revealed that there was a 26% increase in cognition, 30% fewer incidents of sick days, and a 6% increase in the quality of sleep for employees in green-certified buildings. 
A complete green strategy includes efforts to incorporate sustainable practices, ensuring the rules of recycling are clarified and communicated, partners meet or exceed industry environmental standards, and commuter benefits are used to encourage the use of transit to reduce traffic congestion and related carbon emissions. 
Promote Happiness 
Creating moments of joy, inspiration, and happiness in the workplace is key to employee satisfaction, recruitment,  retention and productivity. In addition to the ideal work environment designed to increase vitality, it’s also important to define and live the company culture which provides guidance and purpose, a process for recognition, rewards, development, and growth that motivates every employee.
Experts also see the value of promoting community among employees and to facilitate the opportunities for interactions that create productive and satisfying relationships that will evolve as the company and employee populations change.

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