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Research shows that a happier office is a more productive office. But what actually makes employees happy?
But what actually makes employees happy? Short breaks at the coffee machine? Less meetings in the diary? When the boss goes home? It’s a question that businesses everywhere have grappled with for years, and a new piece of artificial intelligence may just hold the answer...
While science fiction – and sometimes the media - might have us believe that AI will take over jobs, this system might actually make employees better at their jobs.
Every employee and every team is different, so there’s no one size fits all approach to improving the mood of the office. However, by collecting data over a period of time and inputting it into a custom AI system, departments can now receive personalised recommendations on how to get teams happier and therefore more productive. For example, in one organisation, it turns out that the boss leaving early makes employees happier, as they are able to relax more. In another office, going for morning over evening meetings led to more content workers.
The system was developed after Hitachi collected 1 million days’ worth of data from ten organisations, including movement, work performance, and a self-judged happiness score, and discovered a link between employee movement, happiness and productivity. Hitachi then created a device, which looks like an ID badge, that monitors an employee’s movements during the day. The data across an entire office of employees wearing these devices is then analysed by cloud servers to determine the levels of workplace happiness and then entered into the AI system for the recommendation process to begin.
So next time someone brings in cakes to cheer up the team, ask for the data behind that decision (nicely of course). You never know, the simplest changes day to day suggested by AI might make the biggest improvements.