The work environment can greatly affect the happiness of its employees – to such an extent that you can now hire an office environment consultant to see how the workplace can be improved to increase happiness. The workplace is, after all, where we spend most of our lives. Coming into a small grey box with no windows each day can be detrimental to motivation. There are many things that can be done to attempt to increase happiness levels, and most of them will cost the business very little outlay as they are so simple. For example, purchasing a selection of art for the walls, having plants in the environment and seating employees near to the windows have all been shown to increase the happiness levels of employees.

The seating employees next to windows example is a particularly pertinent one, as it has been shown that a business park with a green landscape provides a better environment than an office with no outside environment. Numerous studies have found that if an employee’s desk is by a window then their productivity is increased, this is even more pronounced if their view consists of trees, green open spaces etc. Locating your company on a business park with a pleasant environment could have a huge impact on the happiness of your employees; for example, a business in Leeds could relocate from the city centre to Leeds Valley Business Park, which recently won a prestigious landscaping award.

A research study published in February 2008 by Dr.Tina Marie (Waliczek) Cade, Associate Professor of Horticulture in the Department of Agriculture at Texas State University “showed significant differences in workers' perceptions of overall life quality, overall perceptions of job satisfaction, and in the job satisfaction subcategories of "nature of work," "supervision," and "coworkers" among employees who worked in office environments that had plants or window views compared to employees who worked in office environments without live plants or windows. Findings indicated that people who worked in offices with plants and windows reported that they felt better about their job and the work they performed.”

Each employee’s personal environment can also have an effect. It is a good idea for a business to have regular health assessments to see if the work station is suitable for the job the person is doing. Is the chair comfortable enough to prevent back pain? Are the monitor and desk at the correct height? By combining these factors with the greater ones regarding the outside environment the happiness of employees can be largely increased, good news for both the employee and the employer, whose happier employees will be more productive.

The combination of the positive aspects of the outside and the inside of employees’ work environments can ensure that the happiness levels of workers stays in a heightened state. Studies have shown that happier employees work better with others, are more creative, fix problems rather than complaining about them, have more energy, are more optimistic, are more motivated, have fewer sick days, learn faster, make fewer mistakes and make better decisions. All of these positive aspects provide a great incentive for the employer to put the effort into investigating and subsequently improving the happiness levels of their employees.

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This article was written by Marcus Taylor