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International Week of Happiness at Work: 5 Simple Ideas to Make Your Workforce Smile


The average person will spend 3,507 days at work during their lifetime.

With work playing such a pivotal role in our lives, it's vital that employers do everything they can to ensure that their workforce has a happy experience in a positive work environment. 

International Week of Happiness at Work (which is held 25th-29th September each year) is an annual event that prompts businesses to make the change to a happier workplace and happy culture.

According to the Happy at Work Manifesto, the week-long event is about ensuring that 'meaningful work, healthy relationships, development, and having fun' is on every organisation's agenda. 

Not only are happy employees more productive, creative, and work better with their colleagues, but 60% of employees are more likely to stay with a business that offers a positive work experience.

By contrast, unhappy employees can lead to a negative corporate culture that has a damaging effect on mental health, employee wellbeing, job satisfaction, and employee morale. What’s more, employees are ten times more likely to leave a company with a toxic culture.

1. Celebrate your employees

Simple gestures of appreciation and recognition can have a profound impact on employee happiness.

People who are shown gratitude can experience more positive emotions, deal better with adversity, build stronger relationships, and even improve their health.

That's why recognising your employees' efforts with notes of appreciation and positive feedback is a powerful motivator that can have a huge impact on morale. Plus, 80% of employees find satisfaction in peer-to-peer recognition, so consider creating a 'Wall of 

Gratitude' where colleagues can acknowledge each other's contributions and achievements.

Budget-permitting, you could also express your gratitude with employee rewards, which research shows make 75% of employees feel valued, 84% feel more loyal to a company, and 80% feel greater job satisfaction.

Even knowing rewards are available can lead to greater feelings of happiness and a positive workplace atmosphere.

2. Prioritise employee health

Employee wellness is one of the foundations of a happy workplace.

Encouraging healthy habits with a healthy work environment packed with activities that promote physical activity can lead to happier moods, better stress management, and a reduced risk of depression. 

So, you could get your entire team moving with on-site fitness classes, lunch break wellness challenges, or a healthy salary sacrifice scheme such as MyGymDiscounts, which can save up to 25% off gym memberships.

Or, you could promote a culture of wellness with healthy snacks, healthy dining options, health screenings, as well as exercise, nutrition, and work-life balance workshops.

3. Arrange team-building activities

Strong team dynamics are essential for a harmonious and happy company culture.

Boost happiness levels this International Week of Happiness at Work with fun and creative team building games and activities so employees can get to know each other better.

Whether it's brainstorming sessions at the local coffee shop, hosting karaoke, bingo, or quiz nights, or a healthy lunch at a favourite lunch spot, these social events help create a happier work environment with stronger employee relationships. Plus, taking time away from your desk can also increase energy levels and decrease exhaustion. 

4. Offer personal development opportunities

Opportunities for career development are so important to UK employees that 65% would look for a new job if they weren't offered in their current role.

So, use the week of making employees happier to give them what they want: growth opportunities for their career path and professional goals.

This could include:

  • Development workshops
  • Mentoring programmes
  • Skill-building training 
  • Career planning sessions 

Creating opportunities to grow within your company will boost job satisfaction, employee engagement, and employee retention. It highlights that your company holds the key to success for your employees' career advancement and personal goals.

5. Introduce cost-of-living support

One of the external factors currently impacting employee happiness is the rising cost-of-living.

  • 74% of workers in the UK are worried about their financial situation
  • 69% of employees feel their employers should help support them
  • Only 5% of employees feel their employers are doing enough to help. 

That's why you should consider introducing employee benefits that help ease the financial burden in your employees' daily lives. This could include:

  • Cycle to work scheme: Save up to 39% off the price of a new bike and accessories, cutting rising fuel costs
  • Savings on technology: Get up to 10% off tech items such as phones, laptops, and white goods
  • Childcare savings: Save up to £933 with the UK's leading electronic childcare voucher scheme
  • Earn cashback: Help employees become happy customers with cashback every time they shop  
  • Discounted gift cards: Save up to 15% on physical and digital gift cards from 100+ leading brands.

Helping to cut their everyday spend will help to keep your employees happy by ensuring that rising costs don't impact their quality of life.

Ready to make your workforce smile?

If you'd like to foster a happy work environment with salary sacrifice benefits guaranteed to leave your employees' beaming during International Week of Happiness at Work and all-year round, we'd love to help.

For more information please get in touch today on 0208 159 9430, via our contact page, or by emailing