The managements of companies today, realize this need to have a room for happiness in the office premises
Why have a little haven at the workplace for those moments when either nothing seems right or everything seems too right to be true!
As I sat and waited in the emergency room of a hospital yesterday, I let my mind drift off and it conveniently began to think about the workplace environs for the employees of the hospital. I felt that the medical profession definitely deserves a work-life balance charter more than any other. The next thought that came to my mind was – what if there could be a ‘happiness room’ at the hospital where doctors, nurses, ward boys, surgeons et al could just go to take a break, away from their area of ‘operation’. When I spoke with one of the medics at the reception, I was surprised to know that there, in fact, exists such a facility at the hospital.
For a change, I was somewhat happy to know that my idea wasn’t so novel, after all. But as I thought more on the topic, I thought of the happiness room at my workplace. Where do I go when I feel most happy at work? Or where do I go when I’m utterly depressed and want my moment of peace and solace?
The managements of companies today, realize this need to have a room for happiness in the office premises. This can be explained by the sudden surge of rejuvenation activities like indoor games in the cafeteria (the ping-pong table, foosball and what have you), coffee shops within the office area, gymnasiums at the workplace, sleep rooms etc.
Why exactly do we need such happiness havens then?
• Spur Creativity – Happiness at the workplace is an ideal that takes imagination by storm. In 2006, researchers at the University of Toronto found that sadness creates a kind of tunnel vision that closes people off from the world, but happiness makes people more open to information of all kinds. Not only are happy people more creative, but this creativity allows them to come up with new ways to solve problems or simply achieve their goals with out-of-the-box solutions. Of course then, it is rightly said that: time you waste enjoying isn’t wasted time at all.
• Aftermath: Productivity – The idea of having the happiness room is to create that feeling of happiness for an individual at the workplace. Once this feat is achieved, the aftermath of this happiness is higher productivity. As Psychology Professor Alice Isen from Cornell University mentions from her study, “Being in a good mood can help you make better decisions and solve problems with "positive affect." So why does 'positive affect' work? Because when you're in a good mood, the parts of your brain that have dopamine receptors are activated. Dopamine is a pleasure chemical in your brain. And it activates the regions responsible for thinking, reasoning and memory.
• Constructive Time-Kill – Most client-oriented companies are often dependent on other companies for work, and it is often noticed that when employees are between two projects, they have time at work without real work to do. A happiness room is sure to offer an opportunity for some constructive pastime wherein employees could look forward to light moments with interactive activities that foster team-spirit and independent thought.
• Celebrating Small Wins – Suggested by gurus of change management, it is seemingly minor victories that turn out to be nearly as effective as major breakthroughs when it comes to enhancing employees' inner work lives and, therefore, inducing their passion in their commitment towards their work. A research conducted by Teresa Amabile of Harvard Business School reports that 28 percent of small events of all kinds had a major impact on an employee’s work life. Hence celebrating small wins can act as catalysts for bigger achievements in future.
• Click Refresh – Last but definitely not the least, de-stressing is an important aspect of work-life balance. Excessive stress can interfere with employee productivity and impact physical and emotional health of an individual. HR can be a facilitator in helping employees deal with stress at work through such initiatives.
Coming up with the right balance to attain the best possible results from such happiness initiatives that further culminate into a successful happier employee-base for the organization remains as the top priority for HR teams today.