The four S’s: Social, Structure, Simulation, Story – the key to a happier workplace. We’ve just launched the Wylde IA Happiest Workplace Competition which celebrates cheery offices around the South West. To be in with a chance of being crowned this years winner and also be in with a chance of winning some fabulous prizes just click here!

We know that a happier workplace is a more productive one but what is it that creates more smiles in the business place? We’ve bene looking at an article published by Inc. magazine, a New York based publication that focuses on growing companies. The article “The Happiest Workplaces Have These 4 Things in Common” suggests that these work structures allow, and pays for, our outside work passions to be big parts of our lives.

A good workplace will foster the 4 S’s:

S – Social: We are the most social mammals on the planet for a reason — our social relationships have a greater effect on our happiness than our income, gender, health, etc. (Source: Stumbling on Happiness). What does a good workplace foster? Team breakfasts. CEO AMAs. Lunch walking groups. Work sports leagues. If these are missing, start one!

S – Structure: There are 168 hours in a week. 56 for sleep (ideally!), 56 for work (including commuting / extra work at home, etc.), and 56 for your passion. Foster and include these passions in the workplace. What can each person bring from outside of work? The work structure allows, and pays for, our outside work passions to be big parts of our lives.

S – Stimulation: Always learning something news. Ensuring the steepest possible curves between ‘value giving’ and ‘value getting.’ In practical terms, things such as maximum 2 years in a role, job sharing or job trades, regular development sessions, quarterly individual development meetings with one- and two-up managers.

S – Story: Feeling as though you’re part of something bigger than yourself. Ensuring the company’s mission / purpose captures the heart – and bringing it to life regularly through customer stories, printing it on the walls, and talking about it to open or close meetings. At Facebook you’re connecting the world. At Wikipedia you’re giving the world the sum of human knowledge for free. At your town paper, you’re increasing community. What’s your workplace’s story?

Do you think your workplace provides you with enough time to fulfil your ambitions and passions? We want to hear all about your workplaces, the way they support you and your colleagues. Tell us about your office, your team and even the view from your desk – we have some amazing prizes to give away to this year’s Happiest Workplace in the South West!