Want to know the secret to having happiness at work? For one, it has nothing to do with your actual job.
People are spending more time at work and doing overtime. While working longer hours may be financially rewarding, that elusive goal known as “work-life” balance always seems so far out of reach for many of us because of this.
In order to achieve balance in our lives, we try and do whatever we can; squeezing in a walk at lunchtime, taking meditative or deep-breathing breaks between assignments, or even seeking alternate routes to and from work to make life a bit more interesting.
However, a recent study has revealed that the key to our happiness at work has been sitting next to us the whole time; our co-workers.
According to Virgin Pulse’s new Labor of Love Report, workers find happiness in the company they keep from 9-5.
Nearly 40% of respondents named their co-workers as the top reason why they love working for their company, with 66% stating that those positive relationships increase their own productivity and happiness at work, and 55% claiming that their co-workers helped to ease and mitigate their on-the-job stress levels. And with the average Australian spending 38-47.5 hours at the office a week, some workers spend more time with their co-workers than their own friends and family.
“The centrality of social connections to our health and well-being cannot be overstressed,” according to Sonja Lyubomirsky, the author of The How of Happiness: A New Approach to Getting the Life You Want. Employers are beginning to recognize the importance of these connections in the office and are taking steps to reinvent the workplace to help nurture the positive aspects of employees’ work experiences, reducing burnout and turnover in the process.
Community at work and positive relationships with co-workers has been found that it not only makes for a more happy worker, but a happier and more productive company as a whole.
Our relationships with our co-workers – if positive – is generally what keeps us at our jobs, and what helps ease the monotony of the daily grind. Whether it’s a quick chat about the weekend, sharing lunch, or a mutual dissatisfaction of one’s boss, worker relationships can make us feel happier, more content and productive.
To boost worker engagement, happiness and productivity, employers should look at creating a more positive work-place culture which is centred on healthy employee relationships.
Here are five great tips to boost your relationship with your co-workers with thanks to entrepreneur.com:
1. Encourage workplace friendships.
There’s no doubt American workers spend more time at work than they do at home. In fact, Globoforce discovered 78 percent of people who work 30 to 50 hours a week spend more time with co-workers than with their families.
Employers should encourage workplace friendships because they will boost employee morale. For example, Globoforce discovered 73 percent of the employees surveyed have laughed together and 61 percent have cried with a co-worker. Supportive and trusting relationships help employees stay engaged and maintain a sense of belonging at a company.
Several things, in my opinion, can encourage workplace friendships: Create an office space that encourages conversation. Design an open office or provide a space for employees to hang out in their free time.
Employers can also create social events for employees. Set up bowling tournaments, a company softball team, happy hours, workshops or company retreats. These activities can bring together staff and encourage employees to interact on a personal level.
2. Celebrate together.
According to Globoforce, 74 percent of the employees surveyed who hadn’t celebrated accomplishments with their co-workers said they are more likely to leave their jobs.
To boost employee engagement and happiness, recognize employee accomplishments with the entire company, I advise. This will prevent employee turnover and dissatisfaction in the workplace.
When celebrating an employee’s accomplishments, thank the employee before the whole department or the entire company. Host a celebration or make a company-wide announcement.
3. Create meaningful milestone events.
Milestone events such as employee anniversaries can serve as a time for employees to reflect on their accomplishments and growth. Fifty percent of the employees surveyed view work anniversaries a time of reflection, according to Globoforce.
For milestone events, I advise recognizing employees for their accomplishments and citing memorable activities they shared with the company and co-workers. Create a presentation illustrating an employee’s accomplishments and highlighting some fun memories.
4. Make employee recognition an emotional experience.
When recognizing employees for their hard work and success, tap into their emotions.
According to the survey, 89 percent of the employees surveyed said they took more pride in their work after experiencing an anniversary event that had emotional resonance.
Employee-recognition events can become emotional experiences, I believe, if staffers are praised for their work and they are given moving awards. Remind employees of their value to the company and how much they’re appreciated. These sentiments will motivate employees to keep working hard and remain loyal to the company.
What are some ways your company has created healthy co-worker relationships in the workplace?