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Tuesday, November 19, 2019

Some more shocking science news

Workers are 13% More Productive When Happy, Study Finds
By Science News Staff / Source

cool hand luke GIF“We found that when workers are happier, they work faster by making more calls per hour worked and, importantly, convert more calls to sales,” said co-author Professor Jan-Emmanuel De Neve, from the Saïd Business School at the University of Oxford.

“While the link between happiness and productivity has often been discussed, our study provides the first causal field evidence for this relationship. There has never been such strong evidence.”

The study involved call center sales workers at British Telecom, one of the United Kingdom’s largest private employers.

They were asked to rate their happiness on a weekly basis for six months using a simple email survey containing five emoji buttons representing states of happiness — from very sad to very happy.


Data on attendance, call-to-sale conversion and customer satisfaction were tracked, along with the worker’s scheduled hours and breaks.

Professor De Neve and his colleagues from MIT and Erasmus University Rotterdam collated this information alongside administrative data obtained from the firm on worker characteristics, work schedules and productivity.

The study also factored in local weather conditions and uncovered a clear negative relationship between adverse weather conditions and the happiness of the workers.

The researchers found that happy workers do not work more hours than their discontented colleagues — they are simply more productive within their time at work.

“There seems to be considerable room for improvement in the happiness of employees while they are at work,” Professor De Neve said.

“While this clearly in the interest of workers themselves, our analysis suggests it is also in the interests of their employers.”

The team’s work was published online in the Said Business School Research Paper Series.
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Clement Bellet et al. Does Employee Happiness have an Impact on Productivity? Saïd Business School WP 2019-13; doi: 10.2139/ssrn.3470734