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As the International Day of Happiness Approaches, We Ask - Are Your Employees 'Appy'?

20 March is the International Day of Happiness and it is developing further backing and support than ever before. The United Nations has celebrated it since 2013 and wellbeing and happiness is being placed higher on agendas for health related organisations and businesses alike.

From a business perspective, many companies have invested in employee engagement initiatives but not all employers seem to understand the huge impact that an individual’s happiness has upon their work. There are some elements of life that employers may feel they cannot influence but they couldn’t be more wrong. The employers that value their employees’ happiness and provide services and support to create more workplace happiness realise major benefits. As well as being proud that they take care of their employees, research shows that such companies will see average productivity increases of 12%, or as high as 20% in some cases.

So how do employers help their employees to achieve happiness? Of course, financial rewards can help but this isn’t the only solution. Other methods include providing more holiday entitlement, being transparent, encouraging a work-life balance and creating career pathways. Additionally, a simple thank you can go a very long way.

With an increasingly digitally focused society, it makes sense to incorporate technology into employee happiness initiatives and the convenience and popularity of smartphone apps makes it easier to secure employee engagement.

Some great apps that will help to drive employee ‘Appiness’ are:

1. Lyra Health

If you ask employees what really makes them happy in work, you will find that a lot of them tell you that they like to be treated as an individual. They feel more appreciated when they have more personalised interactions rather than one approach for all. Using apps that are personalised are a great way to boost employee happiness and a brilliant example is the Lyra Health app. Providing a ‘human touch’ that modern technology often lacks, Lyra Health is a mental health app that provides employees with care recommendations to get the mental health support that they need. Working directly with a team of therapists, psychiatrists and psychologists, Lyra Health is one of the most innovative workplace wellbeing apps on the market.

2. SuperBetter

This app creates short game style activities to complete that can help to build a happier lifestyle. Because it uses gamification, playing it becomes a fun experience rather than a laborious set of tasks. SuperBetter helps to build resilience in life, can improve mood and reduce anxiety and depression. The game involves a number of quests that reflect everyday challenges and helps users to deal with issues better.

It works on the theory that psychological strengths displayed during gaming such as optimism, creativity, courage and determination can be brought into real life. An example quest is ‘Collect Your First Five’ which relates to collecting ‘power-ups’. Or in other words, 5 things that make you feel better e.g. a song that makes you feel powerful, a food that makes you feel energised, or something that inspires you when you read or watch it. Creating that list and using it effectively will drive happiness and users enjoy completing and moving onto next quest levels.

With great graphics and interesting challenges, the app is a great happiness tool.

3. StepJockey

Employers who take their employee wellbeing and fitness seriously are increasingly looking at solutions such as StepJockey. It is an innovative workplace health enabler that provides employees with an app to track stair use throughout the working environment. It makes workplace exercise more fun by setting up team challenges, or inter-departmental challenges to see who can get the most steps into their working day. Implemented in some of the most admired active buildings in the UK, StepJockey is transforming workplace health, one step at a time!

4. Sleepio

As more research highlights the importance of good sleep patterns, apps like Sleepio are helping people to improve their sleep through a series of online tools. Having a better sleep pattern will help people feel more energised at both work and home helping to be more productive. The Sleepio website claims that users can achieve a 58% boost in daytime energy and concentration. Developed with the input of sleep experts and clinical psychologists, it has everything you need to analyse sleep and create an improvement program. It helps users to address any lifestyle factors that are impacting sleep and even offers cognitive behavioural therapy lessons!

5. Soma Analytics

Stress in the workplace has unfortunately become increasingly common and Soma Analytics has been created to help beat stress at work. A number of large companies such as BBC and Johnson & Johnson are already using the solution to support their employees. There is a dashboard feature for employers, and employees can download an app to their phone that helps to build mental resilience and mindfulness. It provides exercises and challenges that make the process a bit more fun, with the focus on boosting overall wellbeing. It also monitors sleep and provides guidance on time management and other common issues that can lead to workplace stress.

StepJockey is proud to be making offices healthier and more productive all over the world. Find out how we use the stairs to make it happen!

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