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8 things that make employees happy at work

4 min read | 19 April, 2017 By Melissa Jones


This blog post is part of the behind the scenes at Breathe campaign, giving you an insight into the people and the minds behind the online HR system that simplifies and automates people management. 

Employee happiness is a much talked about phenomenon and many business owners and HR professionals are constantly on the quest to find out what really makes their employees happy. However, happiness is a big umbrella term that can mean different things to different people. For some it’s money, others may just like their job (shock horror!), so we thought we’d share with you 8 things that make Breathe employees happy at work.

1. Someone else's happiness

Happiness is contagious after all, and it is often our relationships with others that matter most to us. Our Customer Success Director, Rachel King says that making someone else happy is what makes her happy at work. She says, “knowing that something I’ve done today has made someone else happy and made a difference. For instance I gave Mel my brightonSEO ticket and I feel very happy that she’s over the moon.” 

“Other people’s happiness makes me happy." says Sophie, our Onboarding Manager. "When the office is in good spirits there is nothing better," she continues. 

2. Helping others

Happiness isn't just one big grand event, but the accrual of small steps like feeling gratitude or helping others. This rings true for our Customer Success Specialist, Emma, she says, “the thing I enjoy most is helping others. I feel really happy knowing that I have helped someone grow their business in the easiest and quickest way possible by giving them as much support on Breathe as they need.”

3. A good office environment

Many people can overlook their surroundings as something which can make them happy as they are so focused on the people and more material things that equate to happiness. However your working environment can have more of an impact that you might realise. 

"There has been an amazing feeling at work recently," says Sophie, "everyone is eating healthily and exercising at lunch time, (The Fitbit Work Week Hustle has certainly been a challenge!). Who knew we were all so competitive? We have also been treated to stand up desks and the positive atmosphere is 100% reflected in our work.”

Our app developer Sam also reckons that "we have a really fun office environment which makes it seem like it’s not even work!"

4. Lunchtime

We don’t need to be told twice in this office to take a lunch break, mostly because it means we get what we’ve been working towards all morning, food. Your lunch break is really valuable, not only to eat and refuel but to take some time out of your work and have a proper break. 

"I love taking Maisie (my dog whos comes to work with me) out for lunchtime walks along with other work friends. It gives us the chance to talk about our day so far and then go back into work exercised and ready for the rest of the day." says our Bookkeeper Ali. 

Our app developer relishes the time away from his screen and says, "a decent amount of free time at lunch is always appreciated so I can find somewhere quiet to read my book."

5. The work itself!

Like we've already said, there are lots of things that contribute to you feeling happy at work. One aspect that can contribute to that euphoria is if you do something that you actually enjoy. 

Our Partner Manager, Lou says that it's her job that makes her happy at work. "I love working with our partners and hearing what they are doing and how their companies are growing. I get the biggest boost when a partner phones me excited about something that is happening in their company which I have helped with." 

Our app developer Michael feels happy when he gets a new release live. "We have a lot of people building cool new features and getting them out for people to use, and getting positive feedback makes us happy."

For me, writing and being creative is always something that makes me happy, so I’m very lucky that I do a job where I can do both!

6. Being challenged

Research shows that people are happiest when they're engaged in difficult but achievable activities. We used to have numerous posters of mountains around the office because they represented a challenge; the climb to the summit. We could look at them and translate that imagery into what we were facing at work. It sounds cheesey, because it is (hence used to have), but being challenged and overcoming those challenges is something that contributes to a feeling of happiness.  For Keiran, workplace happiness is facing interesting challenges and consistently learning. 

7. Tea and coffee

Its the small things that motivate your employees and they can build up to making someone really, truely happy. Tea and coffee are two of those small things that make a difference. For Louise, our Product manager, it's our coffee machine that makes her happy at work, "I have a serious addiction", she says as she sips her 3rd Americano of the day. Whilst our Bookkeeper, Ali says it's "lots of cups of tea keep me happy!"

8. The people

Workers are happier in their jobs when they have friends at work as it means their job is more fun, enjoyable, and worthwhile. Having friendships at work is about more than just having fun, though, it's about pulling together over a common cause and sense of purpose which is something that makes Louise happy. "We can have big discussions within our team, talking though a problem and coming up with a solution, that potentially one person might not think of on their own."

It's the amalgamation of lots of things that make us happy and no two people are the same. However, there will be a lot of similarities in those little things, so there's plenty you can do to contribute towards your employees feeling happy at work. This list is just some of those small things that make the Breathe team happy at work, but hopefully it gives you an insight into how your employees might feel or what might make them happy. If you still need some ideas here are 20 employee perks that won't break the bank.


centralise and simplify HR admin

Posted on 19 April, 2017

By Melissa Jones

in Employee Engagement

Tag Employee Engagement

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