Here at Contactzilla, we believe that happiness leads to productivity, not the other way around.
If you want to get more out of your team, and yourself, you’re going to need to find ways to make work a happy place.
Here’s 9 ways that you can tackle workplace happiness and help your whole team to be more productive…
1. Break out space
Most of us spend the majority of our time at work and as such, it’s important to make your workspace somewhere that you actually want to spend time in.
We all know that sitting at your desk staring at a screen all day is not the most inspiring work environment. At Contactzilla HQ, we have a small area in our office with a sofa, bean bags and a picnic bench. Whenever one of us fancies a change of scenery, we can pick up our laptop and move to a different seat. This small change of routine can be just what you need to get out of that mid afternoon slump.
2. Days out
Regular days out are a great way to help everybody relax and show your team that you care about them. I don’t necessarily mean corporate away days filled with traditional team building activities. We’ve been go-karting, canoeing and survived the zombie apocalypse together.
Days out give your team the chance to get to know each other in a social setting, building trusting relationships that will help them back in the office. The better everyone gets on outside of work, the more they’ll want to help each other inside work.
Even a trip to the pub after work on a Friday is a great way to get your team together outside of work and encourage them to build meaningful working relationships.
3. Free lunch!
About a year ago, we were seeing a lot of our team eat junk food for lunch every day. We all know how an unhealthy lunch leaves us feeling tired all afternoon and we thought our team deserved better.
We now provide our team with fresh, homemade sandwiches for lunch every day, as well as a supply of fresh fruit to snack on. It’s paid for itself over again in team happiness and productivity.
4. Encourage breaks
If your team aren’t taking regular breaks, they’re probably not being productive. Yes, I know breaks sound somewhat counter productive but they give your team the rest they need to refresh and rejuvenate between tasks.
Why not get in a pool table, a foosball table or a dart board to give your team the chance to have a little fun on their breaks? They’ll get back to work feeling a million times better and I’m sure you’ll see an increase in productivity in the long run.
5. Peer to Peer feedback
We wrote about peer to peer feedback a short while ago and we’ve found it a great way to make everyone feel happy and appreciated. By encouraging peer feedback, you ensure that your team get recognised by colleagues who have a greater understanding of their jobs and how hard they work. Seeing our team congratulate each other for their hard work makes me feel great and I can see it makes them feel good too.
It’s also easier for our team to take criticism from co-workers they trust and respect, instead of the “boss” who doesn’t always have an in depth understanding of how they work.
6. Ban multitasking
Time and again, research has shown that multitasking actually makes you less productive.
We try to discourage multitasking at Contactzilla by making sure our team have enough time to complete tasks and asking them not to interrupt people who are working towards a tight deadline.
7. Stay in touch
It’s important that you understand how your team are feeling so that you can give them the support they need. We hold quarterly reviews that are fairly informal and give us a chance to find out how we can help our team and give them tips to improve.
We believe it’s important for everyone in the company to be on the same page. Weekly or daily catch-up meetings are a great way to do this. You’re all working towards common goals so get your developers, sales team, marketers and admin team together at least once a week so everyone stays up to date with what’s happening in the company. Knowing exactly how each team member fits into the bigger goal of the company will make them feel valuable and help them to see the purpose in their roles.
8. Offer flexible working
Allowing your team to work flexible hours, from different locations, can help reduce stress by making it easier for them fit work around their lives and work the hours that they find to be most productive.
With so many great apps available to help your team collaborate remotely, it’s now easier than ever to offer flexible working. If are thinking about offering remote working and haven’t tried it in the past, you can find some tips on how to test remote working, without getting your teams hopes up, here.
Every company, office and team member is different and if you’re not measuring the effects of your happiness hacks, you won’t know if they’re working.
Make sure to hold regular performance reviews and collect feedback in as many ways as you can. We do a long-form annual staff satisfaction survey using a Google form and short weekly surveys using TINYpulse to make sure our team are happy and find out what we could be doing to make their lives easier.
How do you encourage workplace happiness? Share your experiences in the comments or join the conversation on Twitter.