Workplace wellbeing has become somewhat of a buzzword in recent years, with even the most corporate environments jumping on the bandwagon.
But what does happiness at work really mean? We caught up with our very own Director of Happiness Wendy Isaac, to discover how she makes happiness happen here at LS.
Hey Wendy! What does happiness in the workplace mean to you?
Happiness and fun in the workplace should be the right of all. According to Business Insider, we spend on average 90,000 hours at work in our lifetime, so being responsible for employee happiness is not something I take lightly. You only live once, so why not make the most of work as well?
“Never be too busy to support or to help each other. That's what makes a great team and a happy workplace.”
Why is happiness in the workplace so important for a successful business?
Our industry thrives on trust and relationships, and it’s no good only focusing on nurturing those elements with clients - you have to start by truly valuing and investing in the people that work within first. Happy staff are motivated staff which ultimately equals happy clients. You want everyone in a company to feel invested in the bigger picture and connected in a joint ambition to achieve those goals together.
As Shawn Achor, Founder and CEO of Good Think, Inc. says, “Happiness is a precursor to success”, and we enthusiastically share in that mindset.
Do you have any suggestions on how to incorporate these principles on a day-to-day basis?
Taking it in turns to cook, sitting around a shared table and having real human engagement away from the laptops is a good start. If it’s sunny outside and you're on top of your to-do list, why not shut up shop early and grab an ice-cream? From pub quizzes and film nights to team fitness regimes and litter picking in the park, these spontaneous moments help keep working life fun and enriching outside of the job itself.
It's also often the team that suggests these activities, we as management simply enable them to happen. Laura, our Office Manager, is a great proposer of new ideas and a genuine 'Happiness Engineer', and she's not alone.
Allowing staff to work from home or from other offices (and even other continents), and being more flexible about start and finish times can help support mental health in an increasingly ‘on’ world. Simply put, it’s important to recognise that people have lives outside of work, and that if your team works hard when they are with you, why not reward them with your trust?
“We regularly stop, step away from our devices, have a beer and share great moments in the office.”
What's next in your role of Director of Happiness here at LS?
My favourite new initiative is that each member of staff is entitled to a bank of self-managed ‘Happiness Hours'. This is not for popping out to a doctor’s appointment or letting the plumber in; this is for taking a longer lunch with loved ones, an extra lie-in in bed, a massage, or whatever it is that helps you unwind.
There’s so much good stuff to digest out there, and in HR or in my role as Director of Happiness, it’s essential not to stagnate but to continually listen, learn and implement - even if things are good, the best is yet to come!
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