Do you need a chief happiness officer?

Research has confirmed what most HR practitioners already know, that companies benefit when employees feel good

Do you need a chief happiness officer?
Companies who help their employees feel good on the job stand to benefit “in measurable ways,” according to research by professional services firm Jones Lang LaSalle (JLL).

Nearly 70% of workers agreed that happiness at work is the best ingredient to guarantee a unique work experience, while almost 90% support the idea of having a Chief Happiness Officer at work who would be dedicated to employee wellbeing, according to JLL’s recent “Workplace powered by Human Experience” report.

Findings were based on consultations with 40 companies around the world, and a survey of more than 7,000 employees across 12 countries: Australia, China, France, Germany, India, Italy, Japan, the Netherlands, South Africa, Spain, the UK and the US.

“In a world increasingly driven by data and digital innovation, the future of work is actually more about people than you might think. Organizations can no longer focus only on providing space to work; they need to create places that enable people to achieve their ambitions,” said Neil Murray, EMEA CEO of Corporate Solutions at JLL. “Appealing to what people want can have transformational benefits to businesses."

Results also showed that just 40% of respondents on average feel very engaged at work. They consider trust and kindness – which can be fostered through agile workspaces – the biggest positive impacts on their engagement at work.

Likewise, 47% called for a stronger focus from companies on giving employees a choice about how, when and where they work, as they believe that being able to concentrate in the workplace is a top priority.

A little over half (52%) admitted being entirely satisfied with their current work environment, while 42% said they are completely ready to move from their personal desk to open-plan offices or unallocated seats in order to access new innovative workspaces.

"Human Experience is about how the work environment ultimately impacts company performance, not just its culture. Our study shows that work places and work spaces have a key role to play, both strategically and operationally, in fostering engagement, empowerment and fulfilment at work,” said Marie Puybaraud, global head of corporate research at JLL.

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