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Happy Workers are Harder Workers

Happier workers use the time they have more effectively, increasing the pace at which they can work without sacrificing quality

datacentre worker by Leonardo Rizzi

Happy workers are more productive workers.

Human Resources wishes to inform all employees:
Employee happiness is our priority. Incidences of under-happiness are to be reported immediately.
You are contracted to be happy on company time. Any instances of happiness outside of working hours are liable to incur a verbal warning.
Failure to display adequate happiness when required may lead to disciplinary action.
Happiness spot-checks will be applied.
Happiness facilities are provided, you do not need to bring your own.
Unauthorized happiness equipment will be confiscated.
Employees affecting countenances deemed by the management to be: grim, glum, mopey, mildly depressed or ‘just a bit, y’know, meh’, may result in termination of contract.


Happiness makes people more productive at work, according to the latest research from the University of Warwick. Economists carried out a number of experiments to test the idea that happy employees work harder. In the laboratory, they found happiness made people around 12% more productive.

Happiness made people around 12% more productive

Professor Andrew Oswald, Dr Eugenio Proto and Dr Daniel Sgroi from the Department of Economics at the University of Warwick led the research.

This is the first causal evidence using randomized trials and piece-rate working. The study, to be published in the Journal of Labor Economics, included four different experiments with more than 700 participants.

During the experiments a number 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.datacentre worker by Leonardo Rizzi

Professor Oswald said: “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.”

Implications for employers and promotion policies

Dr Proto said the research had implications for employers and promotion policies.

He said: “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.”

Source: http://www2.warwick.ac.uk/fac/soc/economics/staff/academic/proto/workingpapers/happinessproductivity.pdf
Photo: Leonardo Rizzi

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