In recent years, organizations are realizing, more profoundly than ever, that human capital is their most precious resource.
This understanding, and the panic it aroused, have become routine topics in the daily media: the difficulties involved in recruitment and the benefits various companies offer their employees.
As it befits the new reality of the labor market, the work environment has changed considerably in terms of physical locations and work output. Whatever the specific changes occurring in each company, human resources departments are forced to reinvent themselves to respond effectively to the new situation.
Since the outbreak of the COVID pandemic and the immediate changes it triggered in the work market, we, the managers, and the HR departments have been dealing extensively with the advantages we can offer existing and potential employees. These advantages amount to much more than traditional benefits. For example, at BUYME, the company that coined the concept of “organizational happiness,” we chose to focus on the daily routine of our employees and the challenges that affect their work-life balance. We uncovered three central challenges: working from the office, adverse impact on employee creativity and family happiness.
Arriving at the office every morning is no longer the routine. Research commissioned by Cisco at the end of last year found that nine out of 10 employees would prefer combining work from the home and office after the pandemic ends. In addition, five out of 10 employees would prefer to continue working full time from home.
The organizational happiness administrations now face a new responsibility of making the office a desirable place for employees so that more of them would choose to come there every day. To this end, the company needs to create an enjoyable work environment through happy hours, workers’ activities and workshops and other value-adding propositions in the office.
Happy hours will be with us for the long term. However, they are not meant only to indulge employees before going for the weekend. Instead, they create personal connection and social "magic" at the workplace. Changes in work methods and COVID made happy hours even more critical for employees’ well-being since they create personal and friendly bonds between employees.
Employee creativity is an essential element in every organization. Many HR and organizational happiness managers stress that working from home inevitably leads to decreased interaction between employees and compromised creativity. A recent MIT research year demonstrated that creative deliverables correlate directly with joint working time employees spend together.
Hence, happiness administrations should conceive solutions for producing and preserving employee interaction. Creativity is critical for success in Israel’s thriving tech industry, which bears the title of "Start-Up Nation." Organizing work peers’ gatherings in the company’s offices or off-site is one way of sparking collaborations and encouraging cross-fertilization, resulting in increased employee creativity.
The family happiness
The COVID pandemic proved that the hybrid work model is not a fleeting trend. Instead, it is a stage in the organizational evolution, at the least because an increased number of employees seek to combine working from home and the office. Moreover, they regard this model as a prerequisite for their continued work in that organization.
The third challenge posed by the new reality is the understanding that organizational happiness does not hinge only on employee happiness. Since the work environment turned hybrid, families are far more influenced by the parents’ workplace than before. The children and spouses spend a longer time near the employee working from home.
Children watch their parents working and are influenced by their work.
In other words, families have become another target audience of the organization. Whereas previously, happiness administrations organized happy hours for employees only, they now need to organize "happy meals" as an element the whole family can enjoy at home.
The new needs of the work world – employees’ physical presence at the office, the creation of interactions, providing more value for employees, and caring for family happiness as part of the employee’s well-being, give rise to a new model of managing organizational happiness.
We call it "hybrid happiness" because it combines working from home, interactions outside the office and the introduction of organizational happiness to the home, thus giving rise to the organizational happiness of the new age.
Technology is available today to provide hybrid happiness.
Meetinkz's technology facilitates off-site orders. Well-b saves valuable time and ensures the happy hour will be a high-quality event. Yet another option is VAZA, which provides another way for reaching out to families.
Whatever you choose, here's to happy employees.
Tomer Cohen is the CEO of BUYME.