We work harder when we are happy

HappinessHappiness makes people more productive at work, according to the latest research from the University of Warwick.

Economists carried out a number of experiments to test the idea that happy employees work harder. In the laboratory, they found happiness made people around 12% more productive.

Professor Andrew Oswald, Dr Eugenio Proto and Dr Daniel Sgroi from the Department of Economics at the University of Warwick led the research.

This is the first causal evidence using randomized trials and piece-rate working. The study, to be published in the Journal of Labor Economics, included four different experiments with more than 700 participants.

During the experiments a number of the participants were either shown a comedy movie clip or treated to free chocolate, drinks and fruit. Others were questioned about recent family tragedies, such as bereavements, to assess whether lower levels of happiness were later associated with lower levels of productivity.

Professor Oswald said: “Companies like Google have invested more in employee support and employee satisfaction has risen as a result. For Google, it rose by 37%, they know what they are talking about. Under scientifically controlled conditions, making workers happier really pays off.”

Dr Sgroi added: “The driving force seems to be that happier workers use the time they have more effectively, increasing the pace at which they can work without sacrificing quality.”

Dr Proto said the research had implications for employers and promotion policies.

He said: “We have shown that happier subjects are more productive, the same pattern appears in four different experiments. This research will provide some guidance for management in all kinds of organizations, they should strive to make their workplaces emotionally healthy for their workforce.”

11 million work days lost - why?

posted Nov 25, 2014, 12:25 PM by Deborah Kerslake

Nov 25, 2014, 7:02 PM014, 7:32&nbsp  
Stress and depression are the leading forms of disability worldwide last year affecting 350 million people,  according to BBC 1, this morning on 25 November 2014.

According to MIND charity 1 in 4 of us will have a mental health problem at some time in our lifetimes.

In a survey of 1000 people 56% feel that they have excessive stress at work.

We would love to come into your company and run some affordable courses to help your people remain resilient under pressure.

We also can help individuals deal with stressful situations before they lead to depression.
Prevention is so much more cost effective , efficient and humane than cure.

A crisis of wellbeing at work

posted Oct 15, 2014, 1:05 AM by Deborah Kerslake

We are witnessing a crisis of wellbeing at work. Official statistics paint a picture of a nation that is stressed, anxious, overworked and insecure. UK employees work some of the longest hours in Europe, and over half of them are worried about losing their jobs. Far from being the price we pay for a competitive economy, this is economically disastrous: sickness absence alone costs the economy an estimated £100billion a year, and longer hours are associated with worse productivity. Our relentless search for growth is not only destroying the quality of our lives: it's failing even on its own terms.

Talking about wellbeing is perhaps less fashionable now than it was in 2005, when David Cameron first declared his intention to measure 'GWB - general wellbeing'. There's a general sense that wellbeing is a luxury for good economic times, irrelevant when people are struggling to get by. But this is nonsense. Wellbeing isn't just about raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens - it's about creating the conditions for people to live better lives. This should surely be at the heart of all policy, especially economic policy. After all, we care about recessions because we care about unemployment, and we care about unemployment because we care about people's wellbeing.

As the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Wellbeing Economics found during our recent inquiry, a wellbeing agenda absolutely does have something to say to the single mother on a zero-hours contract, or the cleaner forced to work 60 hour weeks to earn a living wage. In fact, it has much more to offer them than business-as-usual economics. While conventional wisdom treats a job as nothing more than a means to an income, wellbeing economists know that a good job gives us far more than this: it gives us a sense of stability, a place in society, a chance to develop ourselves.

In particular, a high wellbeing economy means taking much more seriously the rising tide of insecurity afflicting UK workers - whether it's the insecurity of a zero hours contract, of poverty pay, or of perpetual boom and bust. The stress and anxiety induced by feelings of insecurity are disastrous for wellbeing. Indeed, analysis of government data by the New Economics Foundation shows that job security is the most important job-related determinant of wellbeing (bar having a job in the first place), and a far better predictor than income. And when people are asked about the features of a good job, most rank job security as 'very important' - far more than say the same about a high salary.

Estimates of the number of people on zero hours contracts vary from 622,000 to 1.4 million. Stories continue to emerge of a new underclass of casualised workers who don't know how much work they'll have from one day to the next - as Citizens Advice Scotland put it, people given "no hours, no pay, no security and no chance". But this is just the tip of an iceberg. UK employees' feelings of insecurity are on the rise, and are higher than our western European and Nordic neighbours. We have sacrificed security on the alter of 'flexibility' - but, as work-related stress continues to rise, has it really been worth it?

Added to this is the insecurity of low pay. It's a misconception that a focus on wellbeing means trying to convince the poor there's more to life than money. In fact, unsurprisingly, poverty is one of the strongest predictors of low wellbeing, although the link between income and wellbeing does become much weaker as people get better off. This means that raising the incomes of the poorest will deliver huge wellbeing dividends - but the same can't be said for the size of the economy as a whole, with no regard for how that money is distributed.

Low pay also exacerbates what John Ashton, president of the UK Faculty of Public Health, recently dubbed a "maldistribution of work" - with some people forced to work punishing hours just to pay the bills, and others unable to find work at all. In a high wellbeing economy, nobody should be forced to choose between feeding their family and spending time with them. Whichever way we look at it, tackling low pay must be a key priority. And, as recent months have shown only too clearly, it's far from guaranteed that fixating solely on GDP growth will deliver this.

Indeed, a focus on growth at any cost can exacerbate a third kind of insecurity: the insecurity of boom and bust. Intriguingly, some economists now think that this explains why wellbeing has flatlined since the 1970s in many developed countries, including the UK. Because we experience losses of income much more acutely than gains - and because of the devastating impact of periods of unemployment - a downturn more than wipes out any wellbeing gains from rising incomes during the boom years. From a wellbeing perspective, instability is clearly not a price worth paying for high levels of growth. In fact, very high growth rates bring an instability of their own, which has also been shown to be associated with lower wellbeing. As we heard from Lord Gus O'Donnell, all this has huge implications: "policy should aim above all at a stable rate of growth, rather than growth that (even if higher on average) includes periods of recession". Chasing an illusory boom which inevitably turns into a bust is a false economy in every sense.

Ultimately, wellbeing evidence encourages us to rethink economic success. Progress is not just about ever-rising incomes, as the obsession with GDP figures implies - particularly if the lion's share of this growth goes to the already well-off. It's about giving everyone the security and stability of a decent job with a decent wage. And it's no longer enough, if it ever was, to simply go for growth and hope that 'a rising tide will lift all boats'. Instead, we need to address head-on the things that are really holding back national wellbeing: insecurity, poverty and inequality. It's now more important than ever that we learn the lessons of the crisis and build a high wellbeing recovery.

David Lammy             

Huffington post  

Listen to ourselves

posted Sep 10, 2014, 1:57 AM by Deborah Kerslake   [ updated Sep 10, 2014, 2:02 AM ]

We, as successful adults have a tendency to ‘plough on’ and ‘push through’ and ‘continue on’ even when we really know that all is not well within us. We can feel it as a frustration, feelings of being over stressed or out of control or just ‘off’. When we listen to ourselves both emotionally and physically we can catch ourselves before major ill health.

 

I love Integrated therapy because it deals with all the ways that we can start to become imbalanced. We treat the emotions that come up, the thoughts that filter through leading to the behaviour that may not support good health and then we can help the physical symptoms if and when they arrive. This integrative approach means that the whole organism (us!) can be helped and healed within a much shorter time and lead to complete wellness, dealing with the underlying causes of imbalance and not just the symptoms. Contact me to see how I can help you.

The journey

posted Sep 3, 2014, 1:26 PM by Deborah Kerslake   [ updated Mar 18, 2015, 4:35 AM ]

Its been an interesting road. I worked in the bullish money markets in the mid 1980s, and even before the crash of 87 I had the realisation that this is not what I wanted to do with my life.

So I did a step back and spent 3 years in spiritual/ philosophical studies at a parapsychology college and learnt so much about what is actually real, true and meaningful to me, as well as learning to trust my intuition and open my mind to other possibilities.

Then I decided to get 'practical' and did 3 years studying to become a complimentary therapist, learning about how our body works, how everything is connected and how we can sort things out on a physical and emotional level. This was brilliant and helped me feel like I was on the right path.

Then I realised that much of ill health began at the level of the thought. So I did a post graduate diploma in Hypnotherapy and psychotherapy. This training really helped me to understand how we, as humans work. You can't have a feeling without first having a thought. So, if we can sort out our thoughts, we can literally change our future.

Finding this so interesting, I further studied and learnt about CBT - cognitive behavioural therapy and NLP nero liguistic programming and in time became a Master life and career coach, running my own ICF Approved coaching college for 8 years.

Now I realised that all I've learnt has come a full circle and that ironically or accidentally I've managed to learn about all the 4 layers of the human condition. Physical, Emotional, Mental and Subtle.

I feel privileged to know that by using all of these disciplines that I've learnt over the years. I can help my clients become healthy, happy and whole in a very short amount of time. Helping them deal with trauma, behavioural issues, addictions, ill health and self image issues as well as a huge range of other difficulties, so that they may become fabulous, confident, successful people who look great, behave in appropriate ways and cope with the day to day difficulties with style and grace.

Let me help you too, please.

With love
Deborah

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