Well-being in the workplace: Why it’s more important than you think

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It’s easy to lose sight of qualities like mindfulness, gratitude, and happiness at work – especially when you’re already stressed to the max with a tough workload and tight deadlines. But recent research tells a different story: that fostering an environment of well-being in your workplace has implications beyond simply lightening the office mood.   

What do you think of when you hear words like “mindfulness,” “gratitude” or “happiness”? Probably not the corporate world, where productivity and profitability are almost always top-of-mind. What role, then, does well-being play in creating a sustainable workplace? And how can a focus on workplace happiness contribute to the bottom line?

Conventional wisdom tells us that, “If I work hard, I will be successful – and that will make me happy.” But experts today actually suggest that the opposite is true: “If I am happy, I will work hard and gain success.”

The science of happiness supports this line of thinking. When you feel positive, dopamine floods the brain – which activates your brain’s learning centers, increasing intelligence, creativity, energy levels, resilience, productivity and your overall sense of well-being in the process. Happiness is also a contagious, collective phenomenon – which simplifies the task of creating a true culture of happiness in the workplace. 

The implications for the business community are clear: happier employees are more productive employees. And, what’s more, it’s not a zero-sum game between happiness and productivity – in fact, the two go hand-in-hand.

Forward-looking companies – across disparate industries – have already realized the benefits in creating a happier workplace. From global management consultancy McKinsey & Company to pharmaceuticals giant AstraZeneca, and from tech-leader Apple to CPG manufacturer General Mills, leading-firms are implementing mindfulness programs for their employees to harness the productive powers of happiness in the workplace.

As you think about your workplace, the main takeaway is that a happier workplace is a more productive one – and investing in building a culture of happiness makes good business sense.

The first step in creating a happier workplace is identifying the different measures that you can take to improve the day-to-day experiences of your employees. To learn more, stay tuned for next week’s discussion of the role that fostering gratitude and mindfulness can play in building a better, more sustainable workplace.  

ConchaHeadshotSimone Concha is JLL’s Director of Sustainability – Australia. Simone is responsible for coordinating the delivery of sustainability services across all business lines in Australia, and leading the Australian business to meet JLL global corporate sustainability objectives. She is a Member of the Green Building Council of Australia, a Green Star Accredited Professional and a Certified Assessor.

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