According to the American Dream Project, the average American works between 43 and 51 hours per week. Does that make us more productive? No. In fact, the United States is ranked 8th in productivity behind countries like Norway, Italy, and France. Yet people in those countries work fewer hours. So what will make us more productive?
First, it is important to understand that the average person is only productive 5 hours a day, yet our average workday is 8 hours with fewer people taking breaks and vacations than ever before. Second, it is also important to differentiate between the higher living standard of Americans and happiness. Our higher living standard is due mostly to our long work hours and higher spending patterns, yet that standard does not make Americans more productive, nor does it make people happy. In fact, it only serves to make us more exhausted. The American Dream Project goes on to explain that this exhaustion decreases our productivity while pushing us into activities that are not necessarily correlated to happiness, but just escapism.
So how can employers maximize productivity while decreasing stress? Focus on your employees. According to the Great Place to Work Institute, the companies with the happiest employees are also the most productive. However, contrary to popular belief, money does not buy happiness in the workplace. In fact, there is very little correlation between making over $50,000 per year and happiness in general. For most people, happiness is about low stress, trust, and a feeling that they matter.
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If happiness comes from trust and a feeling that they matter, then what are some things an organization can do to foster those feelings? Primarily, a company needs to have a management team that builds that sense of trust and caring. One way to bring about a caring environment is to provide services that enhance the employees’ lives, like a concierge service.
Concierge services provided as an employee benefit give employees a tangible view that their employer cares about their personal needs as well as their productivity. This promotes loyalty and productivity. It is a useful and inexpensive way to provide for employees’ needs, and it will help in lowering employee’s stress levels. In fact, one company funded a study that showed 62 percent of employees would like help in getting things done and believed that the help would lower the stress in their lives. Also, 50 percent of those surveyed would pay to have more time with their families.
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Those statistics reinforce the American Dream Project’s assertion that happiness is not necessarily tied to money, but to lifestyle. If you feel like your company could use a little boost in productivity and employee loyalty, then maybe it is time to really look at what your employees need. Check out concierge services to add just a little light into your employees’ lives and see how your work environment changes to a positive, productive workplace.