Happiness at Work Place

A Stanford marketing professor Jennifer Aaker is teaching her students – along with AOL, Facebook, and Abode (clients) – how to find and export joy into our everyday lives.  In order to produce a new branding the professor gets into a deeper level of emotions to create a marketing strategy which increases employee’s productivity and satisfies customers in a new way.  This was not the first time I’ve personally heard about business people using our emotions to get their company to the top on the list of best companies.  Zappos is another example where the founder studied what makes people happy and provided his employees and customers with things they wanted.

Color of 2011 Year Honeysuckle

In times of stress, we need something to lift our spirits. This is how Color of the Year 2011 – Honeysuckle came around.

In March (2011) issue Fast Company magazine, “The Business of Happiness” article describes how Professor Aaker creates happiness collages with her students to come to the final marketing strategy for envisioned clients.

“Now consumers want something different from simply buying a product, using it, and throwing it out.  Marketing happiness expands the idea of what it means to buy something. If companies can use nostalgia or other “safe emotions” to create feeling of happiness, so be it.”, says John Kenny of the ad agency Draft-FCB.

What I find fascinating is Aaker’s process of collecting the images of what makes people happy to create final product or branding.  It is something I often do with my clients working on their space design. I also find it captivating that people in different industries, from design to marketing, refer to this subject of happiness all at about the same time.

Maybe all this was explained by Pantone Color Institute while selecting the color for the 2011 year – Honeysuckle. The official report was released to the media on December 9, 2010 about the newly chosen color. In the report, Pantone Color Institute Executive Director Leatrice Eiseman says, “In times of stress, we need something to lift our spirits. Honeysuckle is a captivating, stimulating color, that gets the adrenaline going – perfect to ward off the blues.”

Bright Light Fixture

Adding an interesting light or creating a connection to the nature makes me happy as a designer.

So, what do you think brings you most happiness in your life? How can you transport it into your everyday routine?  As a commercial interior designer I know that adding a proper lighting or simply rearranging a work space so everything flows the way it should, will have a great impact on anyone’s mood.  Just adding a touch of a new paint sometimes makes us feel more professional at our own office.  And getting things done makes us happier at the end of a day.

Bright Wall Color

Adding bright colors to a work space provides visual variation to our minds and consequently triggers feeling of happiness.  Image of All Global office, London, UK.

Here are some patterns that Aaker’s students saw after using their smart phones for 30 days to take pictures of happy moments in their lives.

  • Anticipation of a pleasurable experience feels as good as finishing an onerous task (like marathon or exam.)
  • Meaningful experience (acquiring a new skill, volunteering , or spending time with family) often makes people happier than moments of pure pleasure.
  • Happiness shifts with age: younger people feel happiest when they are excited, while older people equate happiness with peacefulness.

Let me know what you think on this subject!

Following sources were used to write this post:

March (2011) Fast Company, “The Business of Happiness”

Color of The Year

Images of Lights

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