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Happy People Work Better

Happiness makes people more productive at work, according to research done at the University of Warwick in the UK. Professor Andrew Oswald, Dr. Eugenio Proto and Dr. Daniel Sgroi from the Department of Economics were the study leaders. They found that happiness made people 12% more productive.

A release from the university reports that the study, to be published in the Journal of Labor Economics, involved four experiments with more than 700 participants. During the experiments some of the participants were either shown a comedy movie clip or treated to free chocolate, drinks, and fruit. Others were questioned about recent family tragedies, such as bereavements, to assess whether lower levels of happiness were later associated with lower levels of productivity.

The release quotes Professor Oswald as saying, “Companies like Google have invested more in employee support and employee satisfaction has risen as a result. For Google, it rose by 37%. They know what they are talking about. Under scientifically controlled conditions, making workers happier really pays off.”

Dr. Sgroi added: “The driving force seems to be that happier workers use the time they have more effectively, increasing the pace at which they can work without sacrificing quality.”

Dr. Proto said the research had implications for employers and promotion policies. “We have shown that happier subjects are more productive. The same pattern appears in four different experiments. This research will provide some guidance for management in all kinds of organizations. They should strive to make their workplaces emotionally healthy for their workforce.”

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