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Can greater employee happiness come from simple changes to the workplace car park?

Given the challenges in recruiting and retaining skilled staff, as well as the growing body of evidence that happy employees are more productive, it is hardly surprising that companies are increasingly looking to invest in employee happiness.

Happiness has been found to have a significant and profound effect on employees’ productivity and commitment. A study by scientists at the University of Warwick found a 12% increase in productivity attributed to happiness. This is in comparison to unhappy workers who were found to be 10% less productive.

The researchers conducted four experiments, which allowed them to establish “a causal link between human well-being and human performance”. A similar effect has also been observed at the company level.

Looking at the Fortune ‘100 Best Companies to Work For’ a survey research consultancy, now part of Healthstream, Inc., found that stock prices rose an average of 14% per year from 1998-2005, compared to 6% for the overall market. Such findings reinforce the suggestion that happy employees are more productive.

Organisations both large and small are trying to increase employee happiness with a range of diverse initiatives, from mindfulness training to free fruit and snacks. But what about parking?

Most employees start their working day in the car park of their place of work. Imagine the difference to your frame of mind by finding a space straight away and parking easily, compared to spending 15 minutes circling the car park before squeezing into a tight space and crawling out of the boot of your car!

It may seem a small part of someone’s day but it’s easy to see how a bad experience at the start of your day can negatively impact the rest of the day.

Investing in staff parking can solve this problem and significantly increase employee happiness. This is what National Grid found when they worked with Clearview Intelligence to address the frustration their employees were reporting around the time it was taking to find a parking space each morning.

Our parking solution significantly reduced the time taken to find a space, which resulted in happier employees who were no longer wasting time searching for a parking space. They no longer feel frustrated at the beginning of each day, and are ready to start work in a positive mood.

This positive mood at the start of the day has been found to result in employees producing more work, and work that is of a higher quality. Managers should be aware of employee moods and do everything possible to ensure that workers are in a good mood. Even global tech giants Google recognise the effects of a happier workforce with their introduction of Search Inside Yourself; a course using mindfulness techniques to improve emotional intelligence and promote wellbeing.

Outside of the workplace a positive mood has equally far-reaching effects. When in a good mood people have been found to have more faith in their abilities, be more energetic, take greater enjoyment from all activities, and become more creative and able to solve problems. A good mood can even have a positive effect on what you eat with people in a good mood choosing healthy foods compared to those in a bad mood choosing indulgent foods.

Are companies right to invest in ways to make us happier at work, or even specific courses to teach us how to do this? It certainly looks like there are benefits to be had, perhaps it is worth looking at the whole workplace and making changes to increase employee happiness from the very beginning of their day.

Would you like to explore if Clearview Intelligence could help improve your parking experience? Call us on +44(0) 1869 362800

Author: Michelle C |Date Published: June 2016

Links: Parking

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