Work Environments that Promote Happiness

Image credits: Stock Photo
The more you talk to people, the more it seems that people are generally unhappy with their jobs. Complaining about work has become a topic of small talk just as the weather has; but why?

Are people really that dissatisfied?

According to Conference Board, a nonprofit research group, 52.3% percent of people would answer “Yes.”  There are several aspects that contribute to happiness in the workplace; in some cases it’s the employee, and in others, the employer.  When it comes to the latter, it is important to look for certain elements in a prospective company when you’re starting your career or looking to make a change.

A company that cares about its employees’ well-being takes the initiative to provide things for you that will keep you happy.  Not only is this in the best interest of the employees but of the company as well.  Quickly fading are the days of long, strenuous work hours and the whip-cracking rule of the proverbial boss. 

Benefits

One thing that companies are starting change are the benefits they offer.  There are benefits that are legally required but companies that go above and beyond show they have worthwhile intentions for the people keeping them in operation.

Providing typical benefits but on a larger scale is one way that companies are doing this. For example Starbucks and Whole Foods both offer full health benefits to both full time and part time employees.

Nontraditional perks and benefits are a growing trend, as well. A new perk that companies are starting to offer their employees is unlimited vacation days.  It may seem counterintuitive but it turns out that employees who are able to “check out” whenever they please are more motivated to get work done.

Another nice amenity is a company gym or gym membership. Some companies, like commercial real estate firm, Walker & Dunlop, even offer cash incentives for exercising. 

Fun and Food

“Work first, play later” is the mindset of most people. Why shouldn’t you be able to have fun at work, though?  Google is famously known as the most fun company to work for and has become a bit of a model for a lot of startups; it is also one of the most successful companies in the world.  Things like bowling alleys and bikes allow employees to take breaks and unwind.  When you are spending the majority of your waking hours working, taking time during the day to enjoy yourself can definitely promote happiness.

Some might say that free food is the equivalent of happiness.  They would be right.  While this may not be quite as common, finding an employer that provides meals would be sure to promote your happiness as well as save you money.  ZocDoc provides free catered meals, daily, and if you work past 8, free dinner and a taxi ride home. 

Time on the Job

Something else to look for in a potential employer is flexibility when it comes to hours.  In the same vein as unlimited vacation, being able to pick your hours and work on a schedule that is best for you is something that can boost productivity and promote employee loyalty.

Along these same lines, the condensed work week has been welcomed with open arms. This means that instead of working five eight hour days, employees work four ten hour days and enjoy three days off every week. This is something that more and more companies are adopting and definitely something to keep an eye out for.

If you are looking for a job that will thrill you, rather than kill you, these are just a few things to have on your radar.
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