The Happiness Agenda That’s Topping The Charts In Ireland
Gone are the days where an annual meagre bonus, a grey-lined cubicle and an annual cup of instant coffee were enough to guarantee a lifetime of service from an employee. Today, job satisfaction knocks both salary and job security out of the park in the league of what people really want their employers to offer.
Dublin Airport Central conducted a survey of 1,000 people in Ireland to find out what they really think of their jobs and how they work. Overall, the results show that providing a decent work/life balance is the route to happiness — even more so for younger generations.
“Millennials want to enjoy their work and their environment and are starting to demand it from their employers,” Dublin Airport Central’s Head of Sales and Marketing Paul Byrne said. “The trends that our study has revealed about how people view their job and employer aren’t going to go away.”
Thankfully, businesses in Ireland are starting to react. With new commercial locations such as Dublin Airport Central on offer, it is becoming far easier for businesses to nurture a happy, productive workforce.
Happiness Comes First
Compared to 18% of respondents who indicated that job security is the most important aspect of their job and 17% who highlighted a good salary, a significant 37% of respondents chose job satisfaction. When broken down by age, this rises to 51% of 18- to 24-year-olds.
The effect of happiness on productivity is a growing matter of interest for many people. The number of studies looking at the link is growing. For example, a study from the University of Warwick of more than 700 people found happiness makes people 12% more productive.
However, the survey from Dublin Airport Central suggests that not enough businesses are acting on advice that happiness is crucial. Only 13% of respondents said they had a great work/life balance. The conclusion? Businesses in Ireland need to focus their efforts on improving employees’ experience of work.
“Staff retention is a big issue in Ireland,” Byrne said. “There is so much competition to attract the best employees now. As a landlord, we want to support businesses by giving them a good place to work. If employees have enjoyable and practical amenities around them, satisfaction will be high.”
When asked what small perk would help improve their productivity, the most popular answer from respondents was quality coffee and tea (20%). The simple things are important, it seems. However, for respondents aged 18 to 24, the top answer was a ‘chill out area’. A space to relax, which blurs the line between working and living, is what the new entrants to the workforce are seeking.
Of course, not all businesses are able to offer these perks. This is where a location such as Dublin Airport Central comes into its own. As well as four office buildings totalling 410K SF, the development is surrounded by 1.25 acres of green space and offers a gym, a swimming pool and a range of retail and leisure.
“This is not just a place to work,” Byrne said. “At our campus, people can get up and go for a walk in the park, have a coffee away from their desk, do some exercise. It’s not a 9-to-5 location — it’s a 24/7 destination that helps our tenants to offer the work/life balance that can contribute hugely to staff happiness.”
The Bigger Picture
Dublin Airport Central’s survey also highlighted people’s desire for employers to be more considerate not only of their own happiness, but of the world around them. When asked if a company’s positive contribution to society, including charities and the environment, would make them more interested in working there, 69% answered yes.
Purpose-built, out-of-town commercial developments can offer a level of sustainability that a city centre location can’t rival. Take traffic, for example. On a personal level, no one wants to sit in a traffic jam. On a wider level, air pollution is becoming a significant drain on public health.
“Traffic is terrible in Dublin,” Byrne said. “It’s the third worst city in the world for time spent sitting in traffic, according to a study by transport data firm INRIX.
“Working out of town at a development such as Dublin Airport Central will reduce traffic congestion, which companies realise is a solution. Several large businesses are considering satellite offices to complement their city centre offices. Now if you live in the Greater Dublin area you don’t have to commute into the city every day.”
All Dublin Airport Central’s survey results highlight a greater need for businesses to put wellbeing and social responsibility higher up the agenda. Though millennials have only just started making their impact felt, it is becoming far easier for businesses to create an atmosphere that creates a productive and content workforce.
This feature was produced by Bisnow Branded Content in collaboration with Dublin Airport Central. Bisnow news staff was not involved in the production of this content.