When happiness flows, creativity flows

August is #HappinessHappensMonth and in these uncertain times a little happiness boost is exactly what we all need. Happiness is a powerful tool in business productivity, so throughout the month we’ll be sharing our creative marketing agency’s words of wisdom to help you enjoy happiness highs that you can share with your whole business.

There are thousands of theories out there on how to make various aspects of our business or work lives better. But there’s one mindset that is proven to make our business and work life better on all fronts: happiness.

This feeling doesn’t sound big enough to be the holy grail of business, but studies from the fields of psychology, leadership and management, and neuroscience prove that happier employees not only perform better each day, they are more productive – which in turn boosts the bottom line of the company.

Why is happiness so key to business success?

Happiness is an overall sense of enjoyment. You and your employees will still have times of setback, debate, and frustration but these are outweighed by positive feelings. Most people simply want to feel appreciated for their work, but happiness has the power to create a whole list of hugely positive outcomes for your business or your work life:

  • Build businesses – Happiness is proven to drive higher customer loyalty, commitment, and business growth via word-of-mouth endorsement.
  • Increased productivity – When employees have positive attitudes they are more willing to support fellow workers in achieving the company’s goals especially in group projects. What’s more, happy employees are more willing to go above and beyond their job descriptions and to seek out the company’s goals and actively help achieve them.
  • More creative and effective at problem solving – Innovation is the lifeblood of any business especially in today’s challenging times. Happy employees are more likely to take calculated risks and are inspired to propose creative solutions that will help solve the organisation’s needs and highlight gaps in the market or company processes.
  • Longer loyalty – Job enjoyment goes hand-in-hand with being good at your job and therefore the people that companies keep. In fact, happy employees make that company a magnet for the best talent out there.
  • Improved physical and mental wellbeing – Work-related mental disorders affect our immune systems and workers with severe depression take 20 times more sick days per month
  • Stronger during setbacks – When hard times hit, people in happier workplaces tend to see the bigger picture, making them less stressed and more likely to support the company.

On top of all these compelling business benefits, happiness is also contagious and, when encouraged, can spread throughout an entire company. So it makes sense that no matter what your role in a company, spreading a little joy in the workplace is proven to have huge ranging benefits for you and your fellow workers.

So how can we create happiness in business?

Dr Simon-Thomas and Dr Keltner, authors of The Science of Happiness podcast, identified four pillars of happiness at work: Purpose, Engagement, Resilience, and Kindness – or PERK. You can read more about each of these pillars here, but in essence workplaces are happier and therefore successful, when they provide:

  • Purpose – appreciation, meaningful career progression and core values that align with their employees’ rather than financial bonuses
  • Engagement – playfulness, autonomy over day-to-day tasks and time to be creative
  • Resilience – being authentic (rather than pretending to feel emotions you don’t have) and being in the moment
  • Kindness – being civil, building trust, and listening to team members.

The reason we feel happiness when our PERK pillars are answered is that they produce ‘happy hormones’. Our bodies produce these hormones every time we are happy – whether that’s from eating chocolate, getting a thank you, or going for a run. So as well as creating the right environment for people to feel happy at work, HR teams, managers and CEOs can also encourage staff to look after their well-being, outside of working hours. There are four ‘happy hormones’ which are released by different positive feelings. All contribute to our overall happiness and will help us bring happiness into the workplace (or the video call). Here are some ideas on how we can release our happy hormones outside of work:

  • Complete a task well, celebrate success, receive positive feedback – these all release the reward chemical, Dopamine
  • Walk, get into nature, get away from your desk, get some sun, run, cycle, swim, mindfulness and meditation – these all release the mood stabiliser, Serotonin
  • Laugh, watch comedy, spend time with friends, eat chocolate, exercise, smell essential oils – these all release the pain killer, Endorphins
  • Play with your pet, hold hands, hug your family, give compliments or praise – these all release the love hormone, Oxytocin

Happiness in action

We’re lucky here at OTB to work in the creative industry where innovation is our daily bread. At our creative marketing agency it seems that new ideas, fresh inspiration and the diversity of our challenges create happiness in themselves, which flows across our team. We take pride and find purpose in surprising and delighting our clients every day and we think that our recent Queen’s Award win demonstrates that when happiness flows in the workplace, creativity flows too.

Lockdown was our opportunity to innovate and pull the team even closer together. We mix up the week with a few days working from home, but we find we do our happiest work together in our freshly decorated office. The whole team have a say in our business plans and we’re using #HappinessHappensMonth to keep the happy hormones flowing through the team.

If you’re ready for more creative ideas to bring happiness to your business, talk to the happy people at  OTB on +44113 216 2820

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