Workplace Wellness & Security

5 Things That Will Improve Office Happiness

David Spence
August 6th, 2014

Things You’ll Find at a Satisfied Office

improve office happinessA recent study conducted in Britain found that happy workers are 12 percent more productive. That’s not something to sneeze at, though it’s probably no big surprise to FMs. Facilities managers are constantly searching for ways to increase productivity and keep an office happy.

On that note, I’ve culled together some tips on how to improve office happiness. Does your office provide these five things for its workers?

1. Socializing

Imagine having to work in an office where you never saw or spoke to anyone else.

Sounds pretty miserable, doesn’t it? That’s where good office design comes in. Give your colleagues a place where they can chat and socialize, like a well-designed break room. Or arrange their desk spaces so that they can easily see and talk to one another.

This promotes office happiness because chatting with coworkers breaks up the day and helps with office bonding (it can also lead to exchanges that spark great ideas).

2. Safe Spaces for Complaints

For happier employees, give them a safe space–a safe space to complain, that is. Inc.’s Kevin Daum suggests employees “have ‘structured gripe sessions’ ” to let off steam and air their grievances. Doing this will prevent unhappiness from being expressed in other ways, such as decreased morale and poor job performance.

What exactly would these gripe sessions look like? One possibility would be to hold meetings where employees anonymously write down their answers to questions like, “What would you change about the department and why?” and “What are some frustrations you’ve encountered this quarter?”

3. Organization

Speaking of meetings, another Inc. article on employee happiness advises making the workplace more organized—both in how time is used, and how the office is designed.

To make meetings shorter and more efficient, writes April Shetrone, try holding a standing meeting. The requirement to be on their feet will motivate everyone participating to get to their points much faster.

And of course, employees will be happier when their office is well-designed and organized. When they have those basic needs met, and they can find anything from the office supply closet to a colleague who sits on the fifty-fourth floor, you’ll have created the basic conditions needed for increasing employee happiness.

4. Rewards

Small tokens of appreciation can show your employees that their hard work doesn’t go unnoticed. Have lunch delivered for your team one day, or take a team lunch out. Bring in doughnuts and coffee. Even just telling a worker that you see how hard their working can be a great way to boost morale.

5. Listening

A major source of unhappiness for a worker is feeling like they’re never listened to. In these cases they may feel small, undervalued and unimportant. One of the best things you can do for an employee, then, is listen.

Ask them what would make them happy and consider how their suggestion can be implemented. If it’s reasonable, incorporate it into the workplace. (Plus, you’ll never know exactly what will make your workers happy until you ask.)

As a facilities manager, it’s important to track how your colleagues are faring in their environments. If things are starting to sag, making small changes can be a great re-energizer.

That’s where these five tips come in. You may put them into practice with the people you directly manage, or you may pass this information along to other leaders in your company. Either way, you’ll be ensuring that your office becomes a happier place to be.

 photo credit: xtheowl via photopin cc