16 December 2016

Some of the team at our daily running club.

Can your work environment ever be too happy?

I was interested to read an article in The Guardian this week that questioned whether there was a downside to creating happy workplaces. Could there really be such a thing?

The article discusses a number of situations in which it turned out those employees who were happy and comfortable weren’t always the best at spotting opportunities and making good decisions.

The article also points out that not allowing for negative emotions or opinions to be expressed could be dangerous for employees, as well as the businesses involved.

Although I understand what the writer is trying to say, I don’t think creating a nice workplace has anything to do with the culture described above. In my opinion, open communication is the most important aspect of a healthy business, and I believe that creating a positive environment can only help with that.

We spend so much time at work that I think it’s necessary for business leaders to ensure that their team are happy in their environment during this time. This doesn’t simply mean they should provide an environment that looks good, but one where employees feel comfortable – both physical and in terms of being able to express their concerns and opinions.

An office, to me, is more than a physical space and our Campus is not just fun, but also very practical. We have designed the space to ensure that nobody in the team feels like they have to spend all day behind their desk. Our office is a home from home and that’s how it should be.

But I learned the key to a happy team a few years into our business journey. We’d always focussed on commission structures and rewards, until I learned that this isn’t enough. I realised that what people really wanted was an opportunity to keep grown and developing. This is why everyone in the team now has a chance to take on a course and gain official qualifications at our in-house training and education centre.

I am still learning what makes the perfect workplace. I think the key is to listen to what your team need and go from there.

What do you think?

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