The benefits are clear and compelling. 69% of employees will reject a job offer if they find out that the company’s employees are generally unhappy. On average, happy employees are more productive, 12% more to be precise, than those that are unhappy. If productivity and staff retention are on your wish list, taking stock of the happiness of your employees is the first place to start.
Businesses around the world are starting to invest more and more in the concept of happiness at work. Whether it’s public speakers, teambuilding, company roles, management trainings or transformation programs specifically tailored for employee happiness, the trend has taken hold and is starting to manifest across all arms of successful, future-focused organizations.
International Day of Happiness: a time to reflect
Aside from numbers and figures, caring and investing in happiness at work drastically influences people in ways that simply cannot be measured. Namely, wellbeing.
The United Nations’ International Day of Happiness is one initiative that shines a light on this very topic. March 20th has been established as the annual day, since 2012, with all 193 UN member states adopting a resolution calling for happiness to be given greater priority. Because we spend on average one-third of our lives at work, it’s imperative that we take time on this occasion to consider what we’re doing as businesses to address these priorities. Indeed, “progress” isn‘t simply about growing the economy, it’s about our human experience and how we can collectively improve it.
It's also important to note that, while the International Day of Happiness is a time to spotlight individuals, teams and businesses that are happy at work, it’s also a crucial moment to think about, and include, those who are not. For those thinking “I have a good job but I am not happy” or “I’m not happy with my job”, we see you! The question now is, what can we do differently to affect change?
The four pillars of happiness at work
At PALO IT, we strive to be a positive-minded company – one that relies on daily joy and optimism, resilience in times of uncertainty, and trust for people we work with. As part of our 2025 OKRs, we made the decision to strive to continuously measure and improve employee happiness, but this topic has always been part of our identity as an organisation.
“Making sure our team is happy at work is a paramount part of our road ahead,” says Stanislas Bocquet, Founder & CEO at PALO IT. “Making that a key priority as an organisation is a great opportunity to create the positive mindset and the right environment for individuals to both flourish to their full potential and generate value for business.”
What’s key, first and foremost, in addressing the topic of being happy at work, is having a bedrock on which to build activities, investments, and progress. For us, this took shape as four pillars. We’ll get into the details, but first, don’t let us tell the whole story, hear directly from our team on what matters to them when it comes to being happy at work.
"In essence, purpose is being able to work towards something that means a lot to either the planet, to us as individuals, or just an overall feeling of fulfillment.” – Aubrey Mazinyi, People & Culture Manager, Sydney
Every person should be empowered in taking purposeful action and feel good about their work. We aim to use tech as a force for good in all that we do, and our status as a B Corporation is reflective of our larger purpose as a company.
We are also involved in more and more client projects that share our values in this sphere, allowing our teams across the globe to work towards their ambitions to make a positive impact on the communities they’re a part of and on the world as a whole.
“Supportive colleagues, work-life balance and opportunities to grow.” – Prasad Wanigasinghe, Senior Software Engineer, Singapore
Our organisational model is inherent in this pillar, represented by our “hive structure” that focuses on groups that grow skills based not just on current expertise, but future goals. Further to this, we promote access to knowledge-sharing platforms, and we sponsor training in hard skills like Agile certification and technical certification. We also bolster the improvement of soft skills through training in conscious leadership, climate action and diversity & inclusion.
We also build capabilities through access to events, peer communities and speaking opportunities. Beyond that, we greatly value international mobility and encourage our employees to build their careers with PALO IT wherever they are in the world.
“What happiness means to me is freedom of choice, and the ability to be the unique individuals that we are.” – Nicole Dolan, Senior UX&UI Designer, Sydney
As a forward-thinking and Agile company, we encourage direct communication, critical thinking and continuous problem-solving capabilities. These skills enable every employee to work in a way that is conducive to their own best performance, to feel personally responsible for their actions and their impact on the community at large.
We are now more autonomous than ever as innovative businesses, especially in the tech sphere, with many working from home or away from their teams for long periods of time. To this end, we've integrated remote working in all arms of our organization.
“It’s trust, diversity and team spirit.” – Alix Virot, Full Stack Developer, Paris
We're proud to have 40+ nationalities within our team, and we use that diversity of culture and location as our biggest strength. You could run into a fellow PALO IT employee across five continents and have a home in offices around the world.
We’ve also made regular teambuilding events and retreats a crucial part of the PALO IT experience, ensuring that, regardless of role or interest, we enhance our shared sense of social belonging.
What’s more, many voluntary groups have formed across our team, so those seeking to make an impact and build their sense of belonging are able to through local communities.
To promote collaboration and connectedness, we’re also actively investing in offices that have an open, welcoming atmosphere, where our collective intelligence can manifest in the best way possible
Measuring employee happiness
Words are important, but can be empty. Anyone can write a manifesto. But how can you act? How can you make your ethos come to life, build a company culture based on happiness, and positively affect those around you? It can be very complex when you start to consider measuring something as subjective as happiness.
The answer to this question might be simpler than you think - listen. Ask for feedback, open yourself up to constructive criticism, and listen. It’s the Agile way, after all. Through anonymous surveys and questionnaires, we asked employees what was important to them on a daily basis at work – what was going well, and what they wanted to improve.
To that end, and based on their answers, we constructed our own ‘PALO IT Happiness Index’. What we found was that what works for each individual, each team, each business, is very dependent on your company culture and your current state of affairs. There is no one-size-fits-all for employee happiness strategy. You need to use your own employees and colleagues as a barometer for where you need to adjust.
We’re happy to dig further into the details and framework of our own index for those interested, just get in touch.
Happiness at work is, in the end, not a solitary affair. It’s something that needs to be undertaken together. We’re intimately connected to our teams, our work, and those around us on a daily basis. If we start asking these big questions now: “Am I happy?” “Is my team happy?” “How can we improve?”, only good things will follow.
This is our story. What’s yours? How can we help? Reach out to our team, and together let’s build joyful places to come to work.