Happier At Work. The Lessons Business Leaders Must Learn From The Pandemic.
From my previous research, we know that workers are about 13% more productive in weeks when they are in a positive, happy mood. In this year’s World Happiness Report, of which I am a co-editor, we have uncovered just how vital the workplace itself is for people’s wellbeing, especially for those without strong social connections outside of it. If we are to build back better following the pandemic – which colleagues at the IFS have shown reduced the countries mental health by up to 8% – it is vital that business leaders understand and act upon these findings by monitoring their employees’ wellbeing.
While falling unemployed during the pandemic is associated with a 12% drop in life satisfaction, we find that workers who were lonely before the pandemic fell much lower still in terms of their wellbeing during furlough or redundancy. Perhaps this isn’t surprising. But what should make business leaders and politicians alike take note is that even people on furlough who retained their full salary experienced a drop in happiness — this was no extended holiday.
In a HBR survey commissioned by job search site Indeed.com this time last year, it was found that 87% of company leaders acknowledge and understand that employee wellbeing can give their company a competitive advantage. Yet in the same survey only 35% had made it a strategic priority. As such, it is perhaps not surprising that in general surveys we find over and over again that most people aren’t particularly happy or engaged at work…