Through a dinner conversation with my parents, I learned about a simple idea that became revolutionary in changing the work environment for my dad. I hope this leaves others inspired to create their own “Happy Wall” at work. Written By Juliet Rocco
I was having dinner with my parents and my dad was telling me how he got started in his career. He had been hired as a consultant in the growing field of computer science and IT by the early 80s. This was his first real job and while he was thoroughly capable of completing the tasks at hand, his supervisor approached him with a new challenge.
The supervisor explained to him, “Bob, you’re a really outgoing and energetic person, but a lot of the people in this office are more quiet and introverted. Find a new way to communicate with your group to get them to open up.”
Challenge accepted: He headed to the utility closet soon after, searching around through the supplies before he found a giant blank poster. He pinned the poster up on the wall with the words “Happy Wall” across it. He then sent a mass message to his group explaining the purpose of the wall: Post anything that makes you happy or that you want to share with the office on this wall.
A wall is born: People in the office loved it, more than he or his supervisor had expected. They were posting pet photos, baby photos, jokes, drawings, quotes and anything that was, well, happy. The group grew closer and the wall grew bigger, so much bigger that a “Son of Happy Wall” had to be created because the other had been completely covered in a matter of months.
After working as a consultant for more than three years, my dad was ready to move up and onto his next journey with a different company. He wanted to take a piece of the Happy Wall with him, but everyone had grown so attached to it.
I couldn’t help but laugh while he was telling this story, but at the same time, a lightbulb went off in my head. Why don’t more offices have Happy Walls? People often feel tired and unhappy with their jobs either because the work is monotonous or they don’t like the people they work with. My dad was able to take a group of closed up techies and turn them into extroverts in the workplace.
Takeaway: There’s more to your job than just the work you produce. It’s also the environment that you are surrounded by and that can either promote or deter productivity. Having a Happy Wall could be the answer to your dull office job woes.