Can we ever be happy at work? Or is happiness in the workplace an oxymoron? We turn the spotlight on Happy Melly - a happiness at work movement that’s inspiring a global network of entrepreneurs and businesses.
The link between happiness and productivity
Last year employee engagement firm Perkbox revealed that a whopping 6.5 million workers in the UK class themselves as unhappy at work. Meanwhile, studies from the University of Warwick show that happiness makes people around 12 per cent more productive when working.
If happiness in the workplace breeds productivity, and so many of us are unhappy in our jobs, it’s a no brainer that we all need to place happiness high up on our work agenda.
Viewing themselves as an 'entrepreneurship democracy', Happy Melly exist for this very purpose. They are on a mission to create a happy, productive workforce.
"It’s proven that happier employees are naturally more productive ones, as they are invested in the success and future of the business," says Jennifer Riggins, the company’s Digital Marketing brain.
A growing movement with a shared purpose
The movement began in 2013 when the founders were inspired by artwork in Rotterdam of a woman at her desk with the caption: 'Melly Shum Hates Her Job'.
They wanted to contribute to a world where unhappy workers like Melly no longer exist.
"Job satisfaction doesn’t have to be a myth. We believe that happiness is the future of work and that we can make a living while not losing out on life," says Riggins. "We are a global network of businesses and individuals dedicated in some way to helping people become happier at work."
Today Happy Melly has over 400 entrepreneurs from 36 countries and dozens of industries, joining together to help support a happier workforce. All unified by one simple belief: that any unhappy worker can start to take control of their future happiness.
Empowering us all
There are so many ways the movement is helping each other succeed in their quest to be happier in their jobs and inspire others to do the same.
The network offers a range of techniques and tools, including workshops, a popular blog, a Serious about Happiness podcast, videos, books and guides.
For example, there’s a Social Media Positivity Week, where members pledge to a week of social media negativity abstinence. There’s also a Weekly Happiness Challenge that focuses on innovative ideas and creative ways we can bring happiness into our lives - both professionally and personally.
These are methods and experiments they say can work for everyone with very little effort. As long as we’re ready for change, the benefits can be huge. Riggins explains:
"We have a lot of wonderful members who are really involved and have quit their jobs and found ones they love or created them for themselves. Our community allows people to experiment often, which means they then have a safe place to proactively find solutions to problems. And to share their experiments and ask for feedback, whether it works or not."
A path not a destination
Happy Melly believe that happiness is a path, not a destination. And they look for people to take that journey with them, be it entrepreneurs, coaches, authors, managers, creatives and teammates.
"Anyone who wants to inspire happiness in their organisation. So hopefully 'I love my job' will become the new normal," says Riggins.
People can easily support the movement by joining their network and sharing products and ideas. Or simply put some of their tips and techniques to use in their own place of work.
This refreshing hub of happiness is both infectious and inspirational. And if movements like this are the future of work, there will surely be smiles all round.