KITSAP/BUSINESS—Companies also realize that a good mood is contagious and can spread from one person to another.
Were you not convinced? What do you do when a baby smiles at you? Smile back, of course. So the mood of the people providing a service is also contagious. Psychologists label it as emotional contagion7—the phenomenon of having one person’s emotions and related behavior directly trigger similar emotions and behaviors in other people.
Bottom-line: Moods of people can also go viral, and therefore the mood of people providing a service is also contagious; that is, if an employee is happy, then other colleagues will feel likewise, as will customers interacting with them.
Other research studies also allude to the importance of inducing laughter in a company. Findings by the world’s best universities, which include MIT, Wharton, and London Business School, conclude that ‘laughter relieves stress and boredom, boosts engagement and well-being, and spurs not only creativity and collaboration but also analytic precision and productivity.
No wonder companies wish to create a conducive ambiance to facilitate laughter and happiness. In some companies, employees are even encouraged to bring pets to the office. It is believed that a pet’s presence increases laughter and pleasure, which enhances productivity and creativity.
You may wonder if Googlers misuse these perks. Of course, there would be a few black sheep who do. But the vast majority do not. This is because Google selects people who display ‘Googliness’: a mash-up of passion and drive.9 Hence, most of the Googlers only take advantage of the perks to improve their performance.
Bringing Nature Inside the Office
Another strategy increasingly used by companies to boost productivity is to bring nature inside the office. They create gardens and mini forests and simulate waterfalls inside the office area; office designs also ensure ample sunlight streams into the workplace. Prime locations in offices are now bright, sunny areas rather than the spaces in the corner. The combination of sunlight, greenery, and the sound of nature inside the office de-stresses employees and improves their productivity.
Steve Jobs conceptualized Apple Park, Apple’s corporate headquarters, to look less like an office and more like a park. Around 80 percent of the nearly 200-acre site is devoted to parkland. Apple Park consists of green spaces with thousands of trees.
As employees move around the campus, they can build relationships ll with the rest of the team, share ideas, and explore opportunities to collaborate among themselves. Walking through the campus can also improve the cognition and creative thinking of the employees.