Being happy and productive is the ultimate aim for any employer. If you think of your great employees in the terms of perfroance, then if you have low
Being happy and productive is the ultimate aim for any employer. If you think of your great employees in the terms of perfroance, then if you have low productivity you might as well have the latest Ferrari parked outside with an empty petrol tank. At this point, that piece of engineering and design brilliance may as well be a large and expensive paperweight!
In the workplace, productivity and performance is fueled by a happy workforce. That’s not just opinion, study after study has shown that the happier a worker is, the more productive they are. One such UK study was carried out in 2015 by the Social Market Foundation and the University of Warwick’s Centre for Competitive Advantage in the Global Economy. The 700-person experiment found that just showing individuals a 10-minute comedy clip increased their productivity by 12 to 20 per cent.
So, how do you keep your engine firing and your petrol tank full in the workplace? Get happy… and here are some tips to get you started from Carol Talbot, author of YOU the Divine Genius.
To labor the Ferrari metaphor a little longer, if you’re like a high performance car, you need proper fueling. Your body and brain will be challenged to function optimally if you feed them alcohol, caffeine, white bread, pastries and nicotine. Your body and brain need nourishing properly if you’re to have the enthusiasm and vitality to perform at your best. This most basic requirement often gets side-tracked as we sit at our desks through the lunch break and eat some plastic-wrapped sad sandwich and a can of Coke from the nearest convenience shop.
What’s a rule of thumb for human fuel? Did Mother Nature make it and does it still vaguely resemble what it looked like when she did? To be vibrant and energetic, eat foods that are vital and alive. Nourish yourself with fresh fruit, vegetables, and grains. Get plenty of sleep and fresh air, and move your body regularly.
The old adage goes, ‘if you love what you do you’ll never work a day in your life’. If you’re thinking ‘I’m not sure I love what I do that much’, let me assure you it’s possible to change your mindset and find things to love in any situation, it’s a matter of what you’re choosing to focus on. Start with observing the conversations you have each day. Do you find yourself complaining a lot? Even just over small things, ‘the printer always breaks down when it’s urgent’, ‘I’m the only one who ever refills the teabags’, ’it’s always too hot/cold in here…’ Your language determines how you structure your reality and has a huge impact on how you feel. Let’s experiment with that. Say out loud: ‘I am so angry. Deeply angry. I couldn’t be angrier if I tried.’ Say it aloud a couple of times.
How does that make you feel? A little angry? Now, say out loud the phrase, ‘I am filled with joy.’ And repeat it with enthusiasm for at least twenty seconds. Do you feel different from a minute ago? The language you use to yourself and to in the outside world changes the way that you feel about things and subsequently it changes your reality.
Remember, there’s more to life than work. Bringing your best to the workplace means having a full and satisfying life outside of work. So explore other interests… cook, paint, sing, run, dance, play, read, swim, go to the theatre, watch a comedy, restore a classic motorbike, knit a jumper, build a shed, grow organic vegetables, join a choir… find what you love and do more of it.
And while you’re at it, smile like you mean it. Why? Because a simple smile wires and fires neurons in a way that tells your brain something good is about to happen. Not only that, when someone smiles at you, the natural reaction – the way you are hard wired – is to smile back. Just by smiling at your colleagues, you create a shift in energy that others will follow. This is how it all starts. A single smile can light up the world, just like the greatest of bonfires is ignited by one single spark.