International Week of Happiness at Work

25–29th September marks International Week of Happiness at Work, an initiative established in 2017 to prioritise the health and happiness of employees across the globe.

It was created by the founders of the Dutch company Happy Office. Their company reviews a breadth of European research and professionals, to uncover how improving work productivity should also improve workers’ happiness.

Happiness at work has been a hot topic in recent years following the isolation many workers experienced during the global pandemic. There are many aspects of work life that organisations should prioritise, and employee happiness should be number one on that list.

Why do we need happiness?

In the 2023 Gallup State of the Workplace report, 51 per cent of workers hinted that they wanted to leave their role due to stress that left them feeling disengaged and unproductive.

This needs to change. Stress inhibits not just employee happiness in the workplace but creeps into all aspects of people’s day-to-day lives. Many initiatives aim to combat this happiness imbalance and include flexible work hours, shortened work weeks, and greater employee perks.

These benefits are proven to boost businesses: happy employees are incentivised to keep working hard, making them approximately 12 per cent more productive than their unhappy counterparts.

What should we target?

These schemes have proven effective for some organisations. However, Gallup’s respondents overwhelmingly stressed that it’s the everyday team environment that brings them either joy or stress.

Many expressed feeling dejected and unmotivated because they were unseen by senior colleagues, unpraised for their accomplishments, or isolated due to a lack of communication.

With this in mind, and a dynamic and productive team under our belt, we at Magenta wanted to know:

What makes Magenta a happy place to work in?

So, we asked those whose opinion matters the most, our employees.

There was one resounding response. The environment our colleagues build together.

Here’s what our team had to say:

“That’s easy – the people. We’re here to do a good job, to work with our clients to make a positive difference, and to have some fun and laughs along the way. That shared sense of purpose, and the camaraderie and support that goes with it, is what makes Magenta a happy place.” –  Jo

For me, it’s people. Work is always better with nice colleagues. We spend a lot of time at work, so I think it’s important to get on well with the people you work with.” – Sabrina

“What makes Magenta a happy place to work for me are the people. Everyone has each other’s backs and brings something totally unique to the table.”– Craig

“It’s great working with such a supportive group of people, whether that’s support with work or personal issues. The Magenta team is an important part of my social life which is a rare thing to have in a job.” – Greg

These responses show how important it is to feel comfortable communicating and engaging with your co-workers, beyond the work collaborated on. Employee stress, discomfort and disengagement can be combatted by group support and cultivating a culture of feedback and openness.

Happy people need a happy space

Beyond our wonderful people, we have built up happiness in other ways. Namely, our literal environment.

One of our executives added:

“The physicality of the space we work in is coded with so much of our personality at Magenta. Be it the photos on the walls of team activities and trips, or the clippings of things that just mean something special to us. Everywhere around the workspace, you feel like it is truly our space. Everything has a story of why it is the way it is, or why it’s placed somewhere. I mean, we have the kitchen table the company was founded on as our table in the office!” – Richard 

In our light, open office space, we celebrate our happy memories and our work together. This abundance of natural light was a deliberate choice as it has been proven to be great for worker’s health, in turn boosting their happiness, productivity and engagement.

Around our kitchen-turned-office table, we celebrate our team wins weekly, praising colleagues and our communal successes. By recognising and praising colleagues for our wins, we boost morale and help strengthen our team.

Magenta is also home to regular group discussions and activities, with free group yoga sessions once a month, and a weekly group breakfast to start everyone’s week with nutrition and tastiness.

Ultimately, happiness at work can be created through one key change: listening. Listen to colleagues, subordinates, and higher-ups. Celebrate their wins and support them through difficulties, recognise the hard work that they put in, and respect their time. You will be happy in no time!

If you need help with your business’s internal communication strategy to help with employee happiness, get in touch.

Eve Dickie