The University of Warwick led a study to determine whether happy employees work harder, and as it turns out they do – in fact, they’re 12% more productive.

The study included four different experiments with more than 700 participants. During the experiments participants were shown either a comedy clip or treated to free chocolates, fruit and drinks; while others were questioned about recent family tragedies, to assess whether lower levels of happiness were later on associated with lower levels of productivity.

One of the researchers, 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.’

So what does this have to do with a water cooler you might ask?

Well, if we know that happier employees work harder and are more productive, then it stands to reason that we’ll want to encourage happiness wherever we can! And one of the things conducive to happiness is a healthy body, and one of the factors contributing to that, is ensuring we remain properly hydrated – ergo, regular visits to the office water cooler.

Many companies provide additional perks like gym memberships and healthcare plans, but if you’re not a Google or an Apple, your budget will probably not run that high, so here are 5 suggestions that any business can implement which will help make your office a happier (and therefore more productive) place to work:

  1. Build respect and trust
  2. Have a positive office culture
  3. Acknowledge, recognise and reward employees who work hard
  4. Encourage growth and creativity, and
  5. Ensure open communication at all times.

Many of us spend more time at work than we do at home, so aim to make your office a happy place to work and you’ll end up with happier, more engaged, and more productive employees!