Over the last few weeks, we’ve talked about how to help your whole team be productive, as well as about the dangers of empty productivity. Today, I’d like to focus on another easily overlooked aspect of productivity: happiness.
Obviously, productivity and happiness are key goals in anyone’s worklife (and life in general). However, they can often seem at odds with one another: to be productive (the thinking goes), you have to work really hard, which means being stressed, which means being less happy. Or followed the other way: being happy means having more relaxing downtime, which means accomplishing less, which means less productivity. It seems like the best we can hope for is maintaining a precarious balance of both.
Luckily, this adversarial relationship between happiness and productivity is just one more time management myth.
A recent study by economists at the University of Warwick found that happiness led to a 12% spike in productivity, while unhappy workers proved 10% less productive. As the research team put it, “We find that human happiness has large and positive causal effects on productivity. Positive emotions appear to invigorate human beings.”
So happier workers are more productive. Want some more good news? The flipside is also true: more productive workers are also happier, particularly when that productivity is true productivity—invested with a sense of meaning and progress.
“New research shows there is a strong correlation between happiness and meaning–in fact, having a meaningful impact on the world around you is actually a better predictor of happiness than many other things you think will make you happy,” [Jennifer Aaker, General Atlantic Professor of Marketing at Stanford Graduate School of Business] says. “When we can cultivate mindfulness and meaning in all that we do, including our work, we have the opportunity to influence not only our own well-being, but also the well-being of our family, friends, coworkers, and wider community.”
So here we have another great example of a win-win: finding ways to increase employee happiness makes companies more productive, and striving for true, meaningful productivity makes employees happier.
From the beginning, Timyo has worked to make the connection between happiness and productivity even clearer. By allowing coworkers to share their email expectations quickly and easily, Timyo helps cut down on the clutter of meaningless emails, gives you back control of your own inbox, and reduces stress by increasing transparency company-wide.
It makes sense that we are at our best when we are feeling our best—that happiness feeds into our ability to get good work done, and that doing good work in turn fills us with happiness. Timyo is proud to play one small part in making people’s lives better.
And that is something we are very happy about.