An extensive study into happiness and productivity has found that workers are 13% more productive when happy. The research was conducted in the contact centres of British telecoms firm BT over a six month period by Jan-Emmanuel De Neve (Saïd Business School, University of Oxford) George Ward (MIT) and Clement Bellet (Erasmus University Rotterdam).
‘We found that when workers are happier, they work faster by making more calls per hour worked and, importantly, convert more calls to sales,’ states Professor De Neve.
The authors state that while the link between happiness and productivity has often been discussed, their study provides the first causal field evidence for this relationship. ‘There has never been such strong evidence,’ explains Professor De Neve.
Recent research into the mood of the UK has found that paid work is ranked near the bottom in terms of activities that make the population happy. ‘There seems to be considerable room for improvement in the happiness of employees while they are at work,’ comments Professor De Neve. ‘While this clearly in the interest of workers themselves, our analysis suggests it is also in the interests of their employers.’