Tag Archives: happiness

Employers, your idea about employee happiness is all wrong

When Google promoted a software engineer named Chade-Meng Tan to the role of “Jolly Good Fellow,” his career–and the entire culture of Silicon Valley–took a sharp turn.

Meng, a cheerful employee valued for his motivational qualities, went from developing mobile search tools to spreading happiness across the organization. Happiness became his job.

Google wasn’t the first to hire someone with the sole remit of enforcing employee contentment. In 1999, when Google was still a startup, French fashion brand Kiabi hired Christine Jutard as its chief happiness officer. She was one of the first to perform the role.

The role remains popular today. There are more than 1,000 chief happiness officers listed on jobs website LinkedIn. But a closer look at what really makes employees happy shows that lots of companies are going about it the wrong way. But once Google did it, employee happiness became a key metric, and other organizations quickly adopted their approach. Three years after Meng’s appointment, fast food giant McDonald’s even promoted Ronald McDonald from brand mascot to CHO.

The right kind of investment

The theory goes that happy employees are productive employees, and productive employees generate more profit.

The secondary benefit is that happy employees don’t look to jump ship. This cuts recruitment costs, further increasing profits. So most organizations investing heavily in fostering a happiness culture think they see a good return on investment.

Expedia, for example, is an office full of perks and provides up to $14,000 per year, per person, in travel perks, to keep people happy. Other firms offer unlimited vacations, free food, and even office toys to keep the happiness levels high.

But the answer to employee happiness is not in the form of bean bags and ping-pong tables. As the Expedia example shows, it is the company’s “culture” and “career opportunities” that have made it one of the U.K.’s most popular places to work–not the physical surroundings.

Fostering well-being

There is a real difference between happiness gimmicks and working in a well-being culture–one that values people, manages them by praise and reward rather than fault finding, and that enables them to work flexibly and provides them with work-life balance. Research shows that these are the real keys to happiness.

A 2017 study of startup businesses found that 57% had at least one member who worked remotely, either from home or wherever they happened to want to work. Companies surveyed said this was a logistical choice. The best person for the job might not have been local to begin with, and offices only have so much space.

But there’s an added benefit here: the implied trust and autonomy of allowing staff to work remotely may contribute more to their happiness than dragging them into an office stocked with free coffee and fruit.

As John Ruskin, the British reformer, said in 1851, “In order that people may be happy at work, these three things are needed: They must be fit for it, they must not do too much of it, and they must have a sense of success in it.”

Personality types

Research shows that employee happiness is also determined by their personalities. In a large study of 3,200 employees from a variety of organizations and sectors, carried out by Robertson Cooper Ltd., a workplace well-being consultancy that we set up, we found that certain personality types experienced more “good days at work” than other types.

We discovered that employees who scored highly on positive emotions and enthusiasm, lower on depressive tendencies like sadness, hopelessness, and loneliness, and those who “begin tasks and carry them through” have the highest number of good days at work.

If you combine these three personality characteristics, those who had all three had 79% of “good days at work,” whereas those who had low scores on these only had 57% of good days. This, in turn, translates into higher job satisfaction, better health, and higher productivity.

The implications here is that employers should try and recruit people with these characteristics but, of course, some people who lack some of these characteristics may have key skills that are even more important. And even if you do recruit with happiness traits in mind, being content at work will to a larger extent depend on the workplace culture that truly values staff, trusts them, manages them humanely and compassionately, and provides them with greater balance in their lives.

In our recent book, Well-being: Productivity and Happiness at Work, case studies of major employers–including Rolls Royce, BT, John Lewis Partnership, Network Rail, and the U.K. Civil Service–shows how this kind of well-being culture boosts the bottom line.

Happiness and contentment at work is not about sushi for lunch and massages at your desk, it is about how bosses treat those that work for them. As Mark Twain once wrote: “Keep away from people who try to belittle your ambitions. Small people do that, but the really great make you feel that you, too, can somehow become great.”


This article was originally published on The Conversation. Read the original article.

general design discussion • Rakhi Cakes Delivery in Pune Online

Raksha’ means protection and ‘Bandhan’ means bound. Thus ‘Raksha Bandhan’ means the ‘Bond of Protection’. The festival stands for the beautiful relationship shared between brothers and sisters. It is one such festival where siblings keep aside their entire quarrel and express love and duty towards each other. Sisters tie a special thread on their brothers’ wrist as a mark of affection. This thread is called ‘Rakhi’. Celebrate ‘Raksha Bandhan as you Order Cake Online for Rakhi that can bring ultimate happiness in the life of your dear brother. Pamper your loving sister by giving some adorable Gifts in return. Cakes, Flowers, Chocolates, personalized gifts, Cosmetic Hamper, Apparel Gifts, and Showpieces are the ones that can be selected for this occasion and your sister is going to love them for sure. You can also get Rakhi Cakes Delivery in Pune Online to add a little more sweetness to the day and make beautiful memories to cherish forever.
http://www.cakes2pune.com/Rakhi-Cakes.php


Finally, A Real Estate Brand For People Under 80

The millennials are coming!

Century 21. Coldwell Banker. Re/Max. The real estate brands of today still feel aimed at some platonic ideal of a wealthy client who will be attracted to a staid, investment banker-style aesthetic that speaks more to financials than inspiration or happiness. But as millennials enter the housing market–the youngest of whom are just turning the prime first home buying age of 24–there’s a chance to reach an entire new generation of home buyer with a refreshed approach.

Read Full Story

general design discussion • Re: Inspirational Design Shorts

I think a lot of business leaders see their individual markets as zero sum games. In order for your marketshare to go up, someone else has to go down. In stable mature product categories that can be the case… but the category can also be ripe for disruption and growth. Take headphones, a totally stable market. Most were free (came with a product) or cheap replacements (crap, lost my headphones and I’m at the airport, I don’t want to spend more the $20), with one mid tier player (Bose) and a few very high end players. Beats entered the market and instead of taking share by crushing competitors, they basically doubled the size of the pie.

I know this isn’t the point of the video, and I also think the $250 fashion headphones aren’t the model for increased global happiness, but a micro proof point of a macro concept. I’ve only met a few leaders who think this way. A few years ago Nike stated a goal to reach $50B. It wasn’t that long ago that the entire sportswear industry was smaller than that. Could they reach their goal by taking share, yes, but it would be an incredibly hard slog and probably not the best thing for the category or sustaining that number. The only way to grow is to increase the overall size of the pie.


Listen: How trees boost our health and happiness

Adding trees to a city can have a significant impact on people’s health and happiness, according to environmental psychologist Marc Berman.

Berman leads the Environmental Neuroscience Lab at the University of Chicago and his research shows that even just looking at pictures of nature or hearing nature sounds can have positive cognitive effects.

“And the question is: Why?” says Berman, assistant professor in the psychology department.

“Is it because its restoring attention, so there’s some psychological benefit that’s translating to a physical benefit? Is it because the air is cleaner? Is it because having trees on the street make your neighborhood nicer and people are more encouraged to exercise? We don’t know the answer to those things—yet.”

In the latest episode of the Knowledge Applied podcast, Berman shares how he measured the effect that trees have on the residents of Toronto, talks about how his lab is mapping brains interacting with nature, and discusses a new app that will help people living in cities find their own urban nature experiences.

Cities make us forget what’s great about nature

You can subscribe to the podcast on iTunes and Stitcher.

Source: University of Chicago

The post Listen: How trees boost our health and happiness appeared first on Futurity.

Would universal basic income sap the workforce?

Would universal basic income cause people to leave the workforce? New research suggests it would not.

Such proposals, including one that Hillary Clinton considered during her 2016 presidential campaign, include direct payments that ensure each resident has a baseline of income to provide for basic needs. While previous research has focused on the effects of these unconditional cash transfers at the micro level—for example, winning the lottery—this study examined their large-scale impact by looking a government program that has supported Alaska residents for the past 25 years.

“A key concern with a universal basic income is that it could discourage people from working…”

In a working paper, associate professor Damon Jones of the University of Chicago Harris School of Public Policy and assistant professor Ioana Marinescu of the University of Pennsylvania School of Social Policy and Practice (formerly of the University of Chicago) examined the effect of unconditional cash transfers on labor markets using the Alaska Permanent Fund Dividend—a payout from a diversified portfolio of invested oil reserve royalties, established in 1982.

They concluded unconditional cash transfers had no significant effect on employment, yet it increased part-time work.

“It is reasonable to expect an unconditional cash transfer, such as a universal income, to decrease employment,” Jones says. “A key concern with a universal basic income is that it could discourage people from working, but our research shows that the possible reductions in employment seem to be offset by increases in spending that in turn increase the demand for more workers.”

With only a few exceptions, every Alaskan who has been a resident for at least 12 months is entitled to a dividend from the Alaska Permanent Fund, which as of August 2017 is worth nearly $61 billion. In recent years, the payment, which residents receive through direct deposit, has averaged about $2,000 a year in a lump sum. But because it is a per-person amount, a household of four could receive more than $8,000.

Jones and Marinescu examined the effects of a large number of people receiving a cash transfer. Notably the researchers found that:

  • There is no significant effect, positive or negative, on employment as a whole, although part-time work does increase by 1.8 percentage points, or about 17 percent.
  • There is a difference in the effect of the unconditional cash transfer in sectors that produce goods or services that can be traded outside of Alaska and those that cannot. Part-time work increases and employment decreases in the tradable sector, but the effects in the non-tradable sector are insignificant.
  • Any negative effects in the non-tradable sector, meanwhile, are offset by positive macro effects.

Jones and Marinescu conclude that more research needs to be done to analyze universal basic income proposals, including the effects of proposed funding models and possible impacts on the prices of local goods. They found that a major component, called the unconditional cash transfer, has no effect on aggregate employment.

Money can buy happiness. Here’s how much it takes

The National Bureau of Economic Research released the working paper.

Source: University of Chicago

The post Would universal basic income sap the workforce? appeared first on Futurity.

Would universal basic income sap the workforce?

Would universal basic income cause people to leave the workforce? New research suggests it would not.

Such proposals, including one that Hillary Clinton considered during her 2016 presidential campaign, include direct payments that ensure each resident has a baseline of income to provide for basic needs. While previous research has focused on the effects of these unconditional cash transfers at the micro level—for example, winning the lottery—this study examined their large-scale impact by looking a government program that has supported Alaska residents for the past 25 years.

“A key concern with a universal basic income is that it could discourage people from working…”

In a working paper, associate professor Damon Jones of the University of Chicago Harris School of Public Policy and assistant professor Ioana Marinescu of the University of Pennsylvania School of Social Policy and Practice (formerly of the University of Chicago) examined the effect of unconditional cash transfers on labor markets using the Alaska Permanent Fund Dividend—a payout from a diversified portfolio of invested oil reserve royalties, established in 1982.

They concluded unconditional cash transfers had no significant effect on employment, yet it increased part-time work.

“It is reasonable to expect an unconditional cash transfer, such as a universal income, to decrease employment,” Jones says. “A key concern with a universal basic income is that it could discourage people from working, but our research shows that the possible reductions in employment seem to be offset by increases in spending that in turn increase the demand for more workers.”

With only a few exceptions, every Alaskan who has been a resident for at least 12 months is entitled to a dividend from the Alaska Permanent Fund, which as of August 2017 is worth nearly $61 billion. In recent years, the payment, which residents receive through direct deposit, has averaged about $2,000 a year in a lump sum. But because it is a per-person amount, a household of four could receive more than $8,000.

Jones and Marinescu examined the effects of a large number of people receiving a cash transfer. Notably the researchers found that:

  • There is no significant effect, positive or negative, on employment as a whole, although part-time work does increase by 1.8 percentage points, or about 17 percent.
  • There is a difference in the effect of the unconditional cash transfer in sectors that produce goods or services that can be traded outside of Alaska and those that cannot. Part-time work increases and employment decreases in the tradable sector, but the effects in the non-tradable sector are insignificant.
  • Any negative effects in the non-tradable sector, meanwhile, are offset by positive macro effects.

Jones and Marinescu conclude that more research needs to be done to analyze universal basic income proposals, including the effects of proposed funding models and possible impacts on the prices of local goods. They found that a major component, called the unconditional cash transfer, has no effect on aggregate employment.

Money can buy happiness. Here’s how much it takes

The National Bureau of Economic Research released the working paper.

Source: University of Chicago

The post Would universal basic income sap the workforce? appeared first on Futurity.

general design discussion • Re: pay cut?

tommyle wrote:
NURB, I’m glad it worked out for you and sounds like a bit of patience is very important.
Do you feel like it was hard to play catch up to a salary that you were happy with?
Or maybe you performed so well that it was a easy to get raises?

It was a time of desperation. A put up or shut up scenario that ended up paying off for me. I couldn’t afford to relocate my family (nor did I really want to), and things needed to happen quickly. It was a tough stretch, but I proved myself to my employer and negotiated my way to getting where I wanted to be. It’s not perfect, but I’m proud of the work I do.

yo wrote:
On the Jim Carey episode of Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee he said something like “The only thing I learned from my dad is that you can fail at something you hate”… his dad took a job that he hated because he needed the money, and he failed at that. Imagine working at something you don’t like for 10 years, getting laid off, and now you have no job, and all of your experience is in an area you don’t like. It is hard to put a price on happiness, sounds like you want to go for it.

Side note, how great is that series?!? Yes. I remember this line and it hit me pretty close to home. However, I soon realized that I’m happy with where I am, in a niche industry, and rising to the top of it. At the time, I needed the money more than I needed to be happy in the job. But, things change.


p-1-how-to-teach-your-brain-something-it-wont-forget-a-week-later-813x457

From Learning Hacks To Tesla Jobs: January’s Top Leadership Stories

This month, we learned how to absorb information in a way that makes it easier to retain over the long term, a few of the signs that a job you’re considering might not be the best fit for you, and what it takes to get hired by Tesla.

These are the stories you loved in Leadership for the month of January 2018.

1. How To Teach Your Brain Something It Won’t Forget A Week Later

When you were in college, you probably crammed one or two days before a test, only to forget the material shortly thereafter. That’s because your brain isn’t wired to absorb information all at once, explains Mary Slaughter, a consultant at the NeuroLeadership Institute. Instead, it pays to learn things in small chunks and space it out. Yes, this is more time consuming, but it’s more likely to make things stick.

2. Look Out For These Warning Signs Before You Take That New Job

It’s easy to overlook red flags when you land a job offer that looks perfect on the surface. But as Jillian Kramer writes for Glassdoor, not paying attention to warning signs can lead to much bigger problems later on–impacting your happiness and performance. She lists the signs to look out for that may signal trouble down the road.

3. Tesla Recruiter Shares Six Strategies To Land A Job At The Company

Tesla is a coveted place to work: In 2017, the company received nearly half a million job applications. Cindy Nicola, Tesla’s vice president of global recruiting, recently shared with Fast Company what she looks for in candidates–whether they’re applying to be engineers or customer-service representatives. One important characteristic, Toledano says, is handling uncertainty: They have to be comfortable with ambiguity, and if they don’t have an answer, not to get flustered.”

4. This Is The Scientific Way To Win Any Argument (And Not Make Enemies)

Trying to convince someone to change their mind about an issue they’re passionate about can feel like banging your head against a wall. Most of the time, you’ll probably fail. However, there are ways you can make your opponent a little more receptive to hear your ideas. Try reframing your ideas in a way that’s more in line with their existing viewpoints. Here’s how.

5. Want To Be More Confident? Do This One Thing Every Morning

You probably know that gratitude can make you happier, but it might be able to boost your confidence, too. When writer and coach Daniel Dowling realized that his lack of confidence might be linked to being ungrateful, he decided to make a habit out of finding one thing each morning to be thankful for. Reflecting on the project last month, Dowling wrote, “When I fought for something to feel good about–loved ones, blessings, minor miracles, accomplishments, etc.–I created a positive emotional state that gave me the motivation to literally get out of bed in order to accomplish something.”

6. Four Reasons Resumes No Longer Work

Applying for jobs these days still involve resumes and cover letters, but as Carisa Miklusak, CEO of algorithmic hiring form tilr, tells Fast Company, they’re no longer the most reliable tools for assessing candidates. For starters, a constantly changing workplace means that skills are more important than experience. In addition, the rise of vague job titles, such as “office ninja,” has made it difficult for employers to identify what some candidates’ roles actually involve.

7. Snubbing FCC, States Are Writing Their Own Net Neutrality Laws

After the FCC voted to end net neutrality on December 14 last year, activists and states have taken matters into their own hands. New York, California, and Washington State have all crafted legislation around net neutrality. However, their fight will be difficult. Ernesto Falcon, a legislative counsel at the Electronic Frontier Foundation, told Fast Company‘s Sean Captain last month that “this is new territory for any state legislature.”

8. Four Stupidly Simple Habits To Lower Your Work Stress This Year

You may have tried dozens of self-improvement habits, from working out in the morning to meditating for 20 minutes a day. But sometimes the process of trying to adopt a new habit can add to your stress, not lessen it. When you feel like you’re completely maxed out, it might be better to make little changes instead of big ones. Here are a few tips to get you started.

9. How To Become Indispensable At Work This Year

There’s a go-to person in every office who seems to know everything and everyone. But they didn’t get there by accident; chances are they worked for it by doing a series of specific things consistently. Last January, Gwen Moran asked several career experts what you can do to be that go-to person. From doing your own performance review to impressing your boss on a regular basis, these are a few of the tips she assembled.

10. Eleven Expert Tips To Make 2018 Your Most Productive Year Ever

Everyone has different New Year’s goals and resolutions, but it’s likely that at least one of those things involve improving productivity. So to kickstart your inspiration, Fast Company rounded up some pointers from our top contributors and wheelhouse of experts on how they’re planning to boost their own productivity in the year ahead.

5 Habits For Staying Productive In The Dreariest Months Of The Year

Your bags are finally unpacked from that hometown holiday trip, your bank account is still reeling from all of those Secret Santa parties and–as glorious and fleeting as a Fourth of July fireworks show–your “new year, new me” diet has already flickered out.

It’s mid-January, and winter still has a lot more cold and darkness left to give. So while you might still be feeling the sparkly flow of optimism that comes with the New Year, there’s just as good a chance that the winter blues have officially set in.

Before you ask, no, you’re not weird; it’s totally human to have these feelings. In fact, some 10 million Americans start to feel the effects of “seasonal affective disorder” as early as the late fall. We see this in full effect at our company, Shine–where we make daily well-being more accessible through text and audio products. We recently surveyed our members and found that the top two words they used to describe how they felt at the end of the last year were “sad” and “tired.”


Related: How To Trick Your Brain Into Liking Winter


The good news? Getting intentional about how you spend your time can make a major difference in your day-to-day mood–including during one of the chilliest times of the year. In fact, 72% of Shine members said that self-care is their No. 1 resolution for 2018. So with that in mind, here are a few habits for practicing self-care between now and the first signs of spring.

1. Set A Feel-Good Goal

We all get really good at being tough on ourselves when January 1 hits. Most often, we set goals that focus on our jeans size, doing more for others, or just generally being better at the many roles in our lives. Truth is, somewhere between 80% and 92% of New Year’s resolutions fail–in part because they’re typically set up with everyone else in mind but ourselves.

This year, prioritize your mental health and set a goal that simply makes you feel good; don’t worry about whether or not it makes you more productive, athletic, or successful. What would your year be like if you just spent more time reading your favorite books, going on long walks that leave you feeling energized, or getting more time with the VIPs in your life?

Imagine that. Then make it happen. Feel free to start small and try doing something just for you each day. The wintertime slump after the holidays is the perfect time to build momentum.


Related: This Entrepreneur Traded Her New Year’s Resolutions For A Yearly Mantra


2. Feel Grateful For Something Every Day

The holiday season can feel like a giant, blinking neon sign telling you to practice gratitude and cherish those around you. But without the sugary-sweet commercials and Netflix holiday rom-coms as reminders, it’s easy to fall back into your day-to-day routines, forgetting to notice the everyday magic around you.

A daily gratitude habit is strongly correlated with increased happiness and overall well-being, not to mention with strengthening your relationships. For the next month or two, give it a shot. You can go as a big as writing in a physical gratitude journal once a day, or as small as remembering to reflect on a good moment before you go to bed tonight.


Related: The Norwegian Secret To Enjoying A Long Winter


3. Let Go Of Something

Disorganization actually fuels stress. Keeping too much clutter around can sap your focus, cost you time (and therefore money) looking for what you need, and incentivize procrastination. The more stuff you allow yourself to accumulate in more places, the more precious mental space it can take up.

Why wait for March? Get a head start on spring cleaning and purge your physical and emotional closet. Go full Marie Kondo on your stuff—and while you’re at it, release some of the negative thoughts or worries that didn’t serve you in 2017. (And if reorganizing your entire workspace is too daunting, start one desk drawer at a time.)

4. Find A Creative Outlet

As creatures of habit, it can be easy to fall in routines where we only do things we have to each day. But creativity helps us to better live in the present moment, see things from a different perspective, and problem-solve. Who doesn’t want that?

This month, actively prioritize something that allows you to express yourself. If you enjoy traditionally “creative” activities like writing or drawing–amazing, do more of those things! If you’re one of the many people who don’t see themselves as creative, I promise you, you are in some way or other. Whether it’s cooking, dancing, or doodling, try experimenting with outlets that bring that left brain to life.


Related: Need A Creative Idea In 10 Minutes? Play With The Stuff On Your Desk


5. Bundle Up And Get Outside

With many of us experiencing below-freezing temperatures this time of year, going outside might feel like something to avoid at all costs. But spending time in nature (even at its wintriest) has major cognitive and emotional upsides, and not surprisingly, we tend to get much less sun and fresh air in the winter season.

So bundle up and go for a brisk walk or hike. If you can’t manage that, commit to stepping outside for at least 15 minutes a day–even if that means walking a few blocks to your “far” lunch spot rather than your usual nearby one. (And if you can afford it, plan a trip somewhere slightly warmer!)

As we actively try (and fail) not to reference that whole “put on your own oxygen mask on first” cliché, we’ll say this: You matter, and you cannot serve anyone else if you’re not taking care of yourself. So serve yourself a dose of self-care this winter. You deserve it.


Marah Lidey and Naomi Hirabayashi are the cofounders and co-CEOs of Shine.