Beattie, a communications agency, has taken the step of appointing Rebecca Longbottom as its chief happiness officer, as it looks to keep emotional wellbeing in focus during the continued effects of COVID-19.

The firm has a large number of employees in its Leeds, Glasgow, Belfast and Manchester offices. Longbottom’s job is to keep everyone smiling by sending funny videos, inspiring messages and emails written to uplift the spirits of isolated people working from home.

The managing director of Beattie, Rachel Gladwin, said:

“We’re determined to ensure that isolation does not become a problem for anyone, especially those living on their own.”

She praises Longbottom’s work, saying that she makes sure that staff do not feel down and disheartened by the endless negative COVID-19 stories appearing on social media and in the press.

Beattie also gives employees a mindfulness app that helps them relax, deal with stress and enjoy better sleep. The firm offers counselling sessions if individuals request it.

There are many new office space developments in Manchester that attract major clients, along with a large pool of skilled workers in the region, and many others willing to relocate to the city. With so many Manchester job opportunities available, retaining staff can be an issue. Many companies offer employee perks such as free refreshments, gyms and relaxation spaces that make office workers feel positive about their work environment.

Google and many US-based companies have adopted the idea of happiness officers, and with research showing happy employees are more productive and loyal, perhaps every Manchester office space could benefit from a resident happiness officer.