By Emily LaDrig

It's been said by employees throughout time, plus proven in studies: If you’re happy at work, you're more productive. And if everyone’s happy, it also makes for a better place to work.

According to our partner, Justworks, happiness in the workplace drives higher employee productivity, retention, job satisfaction, and all around business success. If you’re looking for some easy-to-implement, low cost ideas for how to build a great workplace full of happy employees, look no further!

Create a great work space
Your employees spend most of their week at the office. Make sure to have spaces for both collaboration and solitude to help your team get the most from their workday.

Ditch the dress code
Try opting for a more casual dress attire. Millennials and younger workers have come to expect it and it doesn't cost anything to implement. 

Attentive creative business team in meeting at office

Host an employee recognition event
Develop some awards for top performers and folks that go above and beyond. Encouraging coworkers to nominate each other for the awards is a great way to foster a culture of appreciation for good work too.

Get competitive
Try hosting a wellness challenge for employees and their teams, and pass out a prize to the most active team member each month.

You could also try offering your team gym discounts. It's a scientific fact that regular exercise increases productivity (and your employees will appreciate saving some bucks)!

Provide free shots during flu season
While it’s not exactly a fun work perk, it is beneficial for both you and your employees to stay healthy and avoid those dreaded fevers and chills.

Start a mentorship program
Not only is this free, but it’s also one of the most valuable gifts you can give an employee.

Create an office library
If you have spare books on business strategy or even creative fiction, make them available for all employees to enjoy. Even better, keep them in a comfy reading nook.

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Let employees learn from one another
Your team is full of smart people who know a variety of skills. Why not block out a couple hours for them to teach a free intro course on programs like Photoshop or even self-defense to their fellow employees?

Introduce new employees to the company
Make sure to introduce new employees to the team in an email or at a team meeting. Throw in fun facts and a picture!

Celebrate work anniversaries
A simple card or announcement will go a long way and people like to brag about how long they’ve been around.

Give a desk makeover
Whether it’s $20 or $100, your employees will appreciate being able to personalize their work space.

Try a bring your dog to work day
People love bringing their furry companions to work, and it adds a home-like vibe that lifts employee morale.

Make breakfast tasty
Start a once-a-month bagel Tuesday, bring in cookies, or host a holiday pancake breakfast.


Schedule walking meetings
Not every meeting requires a computer or whiteboard. Take a stroll around the park and brainstorm, it will act as a huge refresher and boost everyone's mood.

Think of alternatives to happy hour
Remember, not everyone drinks alcohol! Start up a game of "Two Truths and a Lie" or "Never Have I Ever." They’re free, don't require booze, and are still fun.


Emily LaDrig is the Chief Execution Officer at Excelerate America, the ultimate resource for modern entrepreneurs. Which ones are you going to give a try? Have an idea that works for your employees? Share them with Emily at

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