Does Employee Happiness have an Impact on Productivity?

61 Pages Posted: 17 Oct 2019 Last revised: 25 Apr 2023

See all articles by Clement Bellet

Clement Bellet

Erasmus University Rotterdam (EUR)

Jan‐Emmanuel De Neve

University of Oxford

George Ward

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) - Sloan School of Management

Date Written: October 14, 2019

Abstract

This paper provides evidence from a natural experiment on the relationship between positive affect and productivity. We link highly detailed administrative data on the behaviors and performance of all telesales workers at a large telecommunications company with survey reports of employee happiness that we collected on a weekly basis. We use variation in worker mood arising from visual exposure to weather—the interaction between call center architecture and outdoor weather conditions—in order to provide a quasi-experimental test of the effect of happiness on productivity. We find evidence of a positive impact on sales performance, which is driven by changes in labor productivity – largely through workers converting more calls into sales, and to a lesser extent by making more calls per hour and adhering more closely to their schedule. We find no evidence in our setting of effects on measures of high-frequency labor supply such as attendance and break-taking.

JEL Classification: JEL, D03, J24, M5, I31

Suggested Citation

Bellet, Clement and De Neve, Jan-Emmanuel and Ward, George, Does Employee Happiness have an Impact on Productivity? (October 14, 2019). Saïd Business School WP 2019-13, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3470734 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3470734

Clement Bellet (Contact Author)

Erasmus University Rotterdam (EUR) ( email )

Burgemeester Oudlaan 50
3000 DR Rotterdam, Zuid-Holland 3062PA
Netherlands

Jan-Emmanuel De Neve

University of Oxford ( email )

Mansfield Road
Oxford, Oxfordshire OX1 4AU
United Kingdom

George Ward

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) - Sloan School of Management ( email )

100 Main Street
Cambridge, MA 02142
United States

Do you have negative results from your research you’d like to share?

Paper statistics

Downloads
31,590
Abstract Views
103,799
Rank
127
PlumX Metrics