America has dominated the global economic landscape for a long time so it’s only natural that entrepreneurs in Australia and around the world would seek to emulate American work practices. While some of the techniques they use will help you accumulate more money, it appears as if they won’t do much for happiness in the workplace! American organisations have been accused of fostering a working environment laden with stress, anger and sadness and too many companies in Australia have followed suit.
I found it fascinating to learn that Iceland is deemed to be one of the happiest countries in the world to work in. Unsurprisingly, Icelandic companies follow the same principles we incorporate at E-Web Marketing. Here are some tips we can take from our Icelandic friends and please note that unlike in Australia where we get glorious sunshine for most of the year, Iceland’s location means it is dark and cold for much of the year which means these tips MUST be exceptional!
Encourage Outside Interests
Workplaces make the mistake of seeking to make their team members workaholics who care about nothing ‘but the job’. Outside interests are frowned upon and staff are not allowed bring their hobbies into the workplace, even just to show off to colleagues. In Iceland, companies encourage multiple interests as they realize that it prevents burnout and improves outlook.
In countries like the United States, companies tend to view family as a distraction from work when it should be the other way around! In Iceland, companies offer generous maternity leave packages and also to pay for day care as a benefit. Workweeks are tailored around an individual’s needs because Icelandic organisations know that an active family life means a happier team member.
Foster a Sense of Community
This is precisely what we do at E-Web Marketing and it’s great to see that an entire country feels the same way as we do! While there is much to be said for individual achievement, it is important to recognise that the greatest success can only be attained with the help of others. At E-Web Marketing, we always acknowledge individual achievement but continually strive to help one another out because completing the project to the satisfaction of our clients is the #1 goal. Plus, it feels really good to help someone!
The obesity epidemic in Western nations such as the United States is no secret yet companies encourage its growth by their failure to provide healthy meals. They expect team members to work long hours with little time to eat so the least they could do is have healthy meal options in the staff store. In Iceland, they eat fresh fish and organic vegetables but more importantly, Icelandic companies give staff TIME to enjoy a relaxing lunch. At E-Web Marketing, we understand the importance of good nutrition and give our team members the time to have a lengthy lunch and eat a healthy and hearty meal to recharge their batteries. We offer complimentary fresh fruits every day to our team. We even allow exhausted team members to have a daytime snooze because productivity should be measured in work performed, not hours spent at a given task.
Follow the above tips from the world’s happiest nation and reap the rewards of a healthy, happy and energetic workforce. In the end, your company will benefit and will also attract talented team members eager to be part of an organisation that cares.
What does your company do to inspire happiness in its employees?