A new study out of the University of Warwick showed that workers are 12% more productive when happy. Economists carried out four studies with more than 700 participants, and is the first to show casual evidence using randomized trials and piece-rate work. Researchers used real-world negative events, such as illness or death in participants’ families, to imitate long-term states versus shifting affect.
The results in all four studies showed a positive correlation between increased productivity (measured in tasks that required concentration, such as mathematical tasks). It would be interesting to see how productivity is measured in more complex, creative tasks, which to date have not been well-addressed by research.