Happy Workers Are 13% More Productive. Here’s Why

A new academic study is out; according to the Business School at Oxford University, happy workers are 13% more productive than unhappy workers.

Surprised? You shouldn’t be.

The study took place over a six month period and asked 1,800 call centre workers to rate their happiness each week via an email survey consisting of five emoji buttons. The ratings of which ranged from very sad to very happy.

Come analysis time, it was found that happiness and productivity had a clear causal effect.

In that happy workers not only worked faster, by making more phone calls per hour, but also achieved 13% higher sales than their unhappy counterparts.

Even more interesting, is that the happy workers weren’t working any more hours, but rather, just made better use of the hours that were working.

Which brings the obvious questions:

How Can We Maintain Happy Workers?

Keep in mind that happiness is not a thing in and of itself, but rather, an unintended byproduct of one’s dedication to someone or something else.

As Henry David Thoreau has said,

“Happiness is like a butterfly: the more you chase it, the more it will elude you; but if you turn your attention to other things, it will come and sit softly on your shoulder.”

Thus, we should not be striving to make our employees happy, but rather, creating an environment that nurtures growth and then letting happiness naturally result.

On this, the study noted that call centre work may not be the most fulfilling or enjoyable work. Thus, the results suggest that happy workers bring their happiness to the job, rather than deriving it from their job.

Hence, the job of employers is simple: Give employees a role that gives their lives meaning and isn’t completely unbearable.

“Happiness and success are not rocket science. They simply need to be designed for. They require that you live presently and intentionally, every single day.” -Benjamin P. Hardy