I spend a lot of time on this blog talking about making happy, playful spaces. But in the end the most important thing to making a space playful and happy is the people that fill that space.
According to a new study by Alex Bryson and George MacKerron, published through the Centre for Economic Performance at the London School of Economics and Political Science, of all the things we choose to do at work (other than work!), it’s casually interacting with our colleagues that makes us happiest. From the study:
The largest positive net effect of combining work and another activity on happiness relates to ‘Talking, chatting, socialising’. . . . There are clearly positive psychological benefits of being able to socialise whilst working. It is the only activity that, in combination with working, results in happiness levels that are similar to those experienced when not working.
Now, according to this same study they found the strongest correlation between reducing stress and working was watching videos (film, TV), which indicates to me the study may not be the most robust, but to be fair other studies have found a strong correlation between watching cute things and destressing and an increase in the ability to concentrate, so if these study participants were watching cute puppies and kittens then that makes perfect sense.
I certainly know that having good coworkers makes a huge difference in how much I enjoy my work (and lucky for me I’ve got great coworkers!)
What do you think? Does your personal work happiness depend on your coworkers? Share your work stories in the comments below.
- The Surefire Way To Be Happier At Work: Chat With Your Coworkers (fastcodesign.com)
- Trends in American work productivity (mydoorsign.com)
- Work Makes People Miserable (blogs.wsj.com)