Finding Happiness at Work: Look Beyond the Bean Bags

Career Guide September 28, 2018

Finding Happiness at Work: Look Beyond the Bean Bags

When we spend most of our day at work and with our colleagues, company “culture” and “fit” become vitally important. This is why striking that work-life balance along with happiness – mostly around job fulfilment – is also just as valuable to employees as it is for the organisations.

What companies are doing these days

There’s almost this cult-like obsession in many companies to keep their employees happy. Tech companies paved the way even further for unique and major employee perks. Here are some of the ways:

Google Airbnb Dropbox Facebook
Free food Free Yoga Free food
Free ride to work Ping Pong Ping Pong
On-site fitness Employees can bring their pet Fully equipped music studio
Employees can bring their pet Stipend travel -
Concierge service - -
Generous p/maternity leave - -
Fully equipped music studio - -

Google is widely regarded as the “gold standards” for bringing in employee satisfaction. In fact, previously, the company had promoted one of its software engineers, Chade-Meng Tan, as a “Jolly Good Fellow”. From developing mobile search tool, Meng became responsible for spreading happiness across Google. Kaibi, a French fashion brand, also hired someone to be their chief happiness officer. Christine Jutard became the first person to have the role.

There’s no blaming companies for their constant pursuit of employee happiness. As the theory goes, happy employees are productive ones, hence, more profit. Likewise, happiness contributes to employee loyalty. No one’s really looking to jump ship if they’re “happy”. However, employee happiness doesn’t just revolve around ping pong tables and free food. Culture and professional development – engagement – mostly propel some of the best companies in the world to the top.

How to be happy at work
Employees as stakeholders

It might be true that “happy” people can be productive or energetic and enthusiastic employees feel much better about work, but “happiness” is a tricky thing to measure. Organisations cannot fully quantify it, which makes it hard to just focus on the pursuit of employee happiness.

Pushing for engagement – treating employees as stakeholders of both theirs and the company’s future, can help organisations better in achieving success. When you treat employees as stakeholders, you focus on concrete performance management activities like clarifying their work expectations, giving people what they need so they can perform their job well and providing the right environment to foster positive co-worker relationships.

According to Gallup:

Despite massive changes in the economy and technology, the results of the most recent meta-analysis are consistent with the results of each previous version. Simply put, engaged employees produce better business outcomes than other employees do — across industries, company sizes and nationalities, and in good economic times and bad


Businesses who work on building the right culture and focus on improving engagement have higher chances of doubling up success. According to the study, focus on engagement can lead to better financial performance, customer retention, quality and even absenteeism.

Choosing your employer

There’s no discounting that happiness yields many benefits. But if you want to be in a workplace that you can feel at least satisfied then it’s best to look beyond the ping pong tables and bean bags. Look for an employer that supports employee engagement – an employer that pushes for the right exposure for its people, provide enough guidance/mentorship and encourages employee development.

At Orbium, we believe that people are our greatest assets. We have a strong culture built on teamwork, collaboration and a dedication to quality. Although we operate in many different countries and offices, Orbium ensures there is fair and objective treatment for all employees.

Check out some of our employees’ experience being part of Orbium:

What it’s like Working as a Consultant

Exploring Possibilities as an Orbium Consultant

Working in a Multicultural Environment with Gautham Girish

My Experience Relocating to Hong Kong

A Look into a Programmer’s Life

At Orbium, we understand that successful organisations are built on the foundation of a talented and committed workforce, and therefore we invest in our people.