Jan 08 2008
I’m a mobile worker and a happy one, but I can imagine that lots of mobility projects just provide more burdens on the time of already stressed out employees. The whole always on, can’t go 5 minutes without email culture seems to be replacing face to face contact and telephone conversations.
I’ve seem a whole load of business cases for mobile devices that rest on efficiency improvements that are only achieved by displacing real-time collaboration, thinking time and relaxation.
So I was very pleased to see HP take the initiative and set up a collaboration with The Chief Happiness Officer under the banner Business runs better on happiness. HP have taken a few useful first steps:
Our happiness experiment had two parts. First, we surveyed 800 workers, from companies with up to 100 employees, to find out what would make them happy. They might be shy of telling their boss, but they didn’t pull any punches with us. Second, we subjected volunteers to an experiment that tested people’s responses to different working environments
and they have provided the research online:
I have read a little on the results of their research, and to be honest it doesn’t surprise me, although I also don’t think it’s that reliable as the subjects probably responded as much to the attention they were receiving and the novelty as they did to the changes. However in my personal experience I have seen significant improvements from simillar changes, here’s a snip:
The same workers, given the freedom, tools and trust to work in a more ‘free-range’ style, experienced a dramatic improvement in their mental wellbeing. The results were startling:
- Productivity shot up by 400 percent
- Stress levels fell by more than 50 percent
- IQ scores increased by an average of 28 percent
- Blood pressure was lower
- Short term memory improved. Volunteers retained 33 percent more information
As part of its ongoing ‘Happy People’ marketing campaign, HP will be providing free consultancy to UK businesses on how to improve ‘happiness’ within the office through the use of HP mobility technology.