Dear Member, January 7, 2019 - Happiness in the Workplace

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Let's get happy, happy, happy, in the workplace. I spent a lot of time driving over the holidays so to entertain myself I listened to a book, The Virgin Way,  by Richard Branson. Based on my readings, this author, philanthropist and entrepreneur, is ingenious; he's a self-made multi-billionaire who never graduated from high school but who went on to great successes. One success was that he and a friend founded Virgin Group, a 400 company conglomerate with business like Virgin Records and Virgin Mobile. Impressive, needless to say; however, the things that really impress me most about this man are his sense of humor, the importance he put on having fun in the workplace, and his philosophy of never taking yourself too seriously.  According to him, work environments that are fun and where people are happy are more productive and successful. I can attest to that philosophy. At the Chamber, everyone knows that although we may not pay high salaries, we find ways to make the work fun! I like to think that we are a fitting example of a happy working environment where everyone feels valued, works productively, and functions as a team. Working at the Chamber is a joy because we are free to be creative thinkers and try new ideas. The environment and teamwork are reasons our programs are typically successful.
In addition to Branson's work on the importance of happiness in the workplace philosophy, there Is additional research that supports the fact that happy employees are more productive.  According to a blogger Paula Irwin, "It's  costing American companies around $450 to $550 billion annually because of the lack of engagement of employees in the work place. Only 13% of employees reported being engaged at work. This means that a shocking majority of adults don't enjoy their jobs." In a study conducted by economic researchers at the University of Warwick they discovered happiness resulted in a 12% increase in productivity. While on the other hand, unhappy workers were 10% less productive.  With the employment crisis many are facing we need to take note of these stats.
Companies like Google are beginning to invest in employee satisfaction gauges, and are supporting happier workers. According to Professor Oswald, Google employee satisfaction is due to their own happiness-based initiatives. Bringing a sense of fun into the workplace makes employees happy, and we need to take notice of this phenomenon of being happy and having fun in the workplace. Creating work environments where employees are free to be their best, where creative problem solving has no boundaries or threats of retaliation.  Let's find ways to make work fun in 2019.
Work hard, be productive, and above all else stay positive.
Peggy White
Executive Director 
Pulaski County Chamber of Commerce 
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