Guest Blog: Making Happy Work

Tuesday, 27th March 2018

By Mick Timpson. Architect and Founder of beanddo

Earlier this month we were invited by pro-manchester to lead a discussion on the benefits of workplace mindfulness.

We work with businesses, educators and communities all over Manchester, so we were thrilled to have a chance to introduce what we do to help bring workplace-focused mindfulness, or what we like to call modern meditation, to the pro-manchester community.

It’s important to know what we mean by ‘making happy work’. Our view is that you are already happy! Find that hard to believe? We understand. But happiness is largely a choice; you can’t become happier – you can only be happy. Happiness, or better still a sense of innate wellbeing, is our default mode.

You are happy!

Research shows that you and I are born with 50% of our happiness already built-in via our genetics. Only 10% comes from external circumstances like your possessions, status, money etc., in other words – stuff. A whopping 40% of our happiness is down to how you think about stuff and how you do stuff. It shows that happiness has very little to do with ‘things’, but more to do with how you think and act.

Happiness, it seems, is an inside job and we can make it work for us!

That’s why our best new workplaces are busy creating environments and workplace cultures that empower and inspire. Success for these businesses is about supporting access to happiness, or more simply put, our day-to-day wellbeing, knowing that is the best way to impact profit margins. Research has found that happy employees outperform the competition by 20 per cent. So it’s in an employer’s best interests to keep their workforce empowered, creative, inspired and smiling.

Maximising your resources

We are entering the ‘fourth industrial revolution’ where, according to the World Economic Forum, the top three most important job skills by 2020 will be complex problem solving, critical thinking and the most vital – creativity.

“Creativity will become one of the top three skills workers will need. With the avalanche of new products, new technologies and new ways of working, workers are going to have to become more creative in order to benefit from these changes.”

It’s good to know that our creative resource is unlimited. It will never run out. However, no matter where you work we know that the biggest killer to creativity is stress. And it might be that your workplace is not maximising its most precious resource.

We also know that the modern workplace can be a stressful environment, with employees often encouraged to work harder and longer than ever before. Workplace pressure can lead to stress and anxiety. The latest figures from the UK Health & Safety Executive states that 12.5 million working days were lost due to work-related stress, depression or anxiety in 2016/17.

Making the most of happy

If there’s one thing that we know, this new workplace revolution is not so much about technological change but about how we change and adapt. The old model of how we used to work is just not sustainable. So how do we prepare for the new industrial revolution? The solution is a workplace-applied modern meditation programme. This is a tried and tested method and is an increasingly popular way not only to tackle stress but to nurture creativity, flexibility and insight. Learning modern meditation is a win-win for any organisation. And it’s easy to do. You can help employees not only deal and adapt to these new pressures, but also apply their deeper skills.

By taking some time during the working day to meditate, you can focus solely on the present. Research has shown that meditation can boost workplace productivity by enhancing energy, health, performance, creativity and happiness, impacting on our emotional, mental and physical wellbeing – managers and business leaders should be clambering to introduce a meditation programme into the workplace!

New wave – different approach

Just as our cities and work spaces are adapting to new working methods, we too can have a different relationship to each other and to the work we do. The future of work has to be growth of course, but through maximising human wellbeing, that’s where making happy work comes in. Invest in a modern meditation programme for your business and realise the opportunity you already possess by maximising your best assets. The wellbeing of your people will help supercharge their innate ability for insight, change and creativity, which in turn will help your business to thrive in the fourth industrial revolution.