louisa & janine | happy hq

Looking after our mental health and bringing daily happiness into our lives is more important now than ever (cue, a little stroll on the beach). So, hello Louisa and Janine of Happy HQ, the founders of a new culture consultancy on a mission to help people feel happy and valued at work. We could all do with a bit of that, couldn’t we? We chatted to Sussex local Janine, to find out more…

We absolutely love your new venture, HappyHQ. What gave you the idea/inspiration to create it and what exactly is it all about?
Thanks so much! Louisa (Co-Founder) and I have both always embraced positivity at work, and over the years have seen the huge benefits of leading happy teams. Unfortunately though, the world of work could be much happier, so we created HappyHQ to help companies easily recognise, implement and sustain important culture changes.

We appreciate lots of companies want to do better, they just don’t necessarily know where to start, or where to focus their attention to create impact. HappyHQ ensures companies are firstly actively listening to everyone’s views and ideas before culture goals are designed. Our vision was always to be an extension of our clients team, ensuring the process is collaborative, practical and inclusive.

Was Happy HQ something that came out of lockdown and the working from home culture?
Not at all. It’s taken lots of years studying, juggling, and fine-tuning to get us to this point. We were unsure whether this was even the right time to even launch a business, however lots people are feeling massively disconnected from their company’s culture and peers at the moment, so we’re helping companies fix this.

So, what is your definition of ‘happy’?
Interestingly, we had lots of discussions on the word ‘Happy’ as we know it means something different to everyone. You also can’t ask people to be happy. Instead, you have to create the right environment for positive emotions to grow, and that can be in many different forms, like joy, excitement, pride etc. In the end, we decided on happy because it’s universally understood as a place we all want to get to, regardless of the name tag.

For me personally, it’s definitely something that has changed with time. At this stage in life, it’s more a feeling of contentment, well-being, and knowing you’re on the right path as opposed to chasing the excitement in life.

How can Happy HQ support local businesses in Brighton, Hove and Sussex?
For companies looking to feel more inspired and empowered to create a more positive culture, we’re committed to creating regular content on our website’s hub page, filled with useful resources, news and ideas on ways to create positive impact at work.

For anyone wanting to take one step further and have a chat with the team, we offer a free 30-minute consultation to discuss your company’s culture challenges. Given lots of larger companies already have team members dedicated to culture, we will typically work with small to medium size businesses from 5 – 150 people.

About what about you guys? How do you make sure the team at Happy HQ are… happy?
We recognise that happiness is unique to every company. Our team in particular thrives on having lots of autonomy and flexibility, as well as making sure we find opportunity to regularly connect, check-in with each other, and laugh as much as possible. The team also recently completed a strengths test to ensure we’re enacting as much as we can, it’s so interesting to see how invigorated people are when they’re applying their strengths.

Have you got any tips for ensuring your own happiness that might inspire us?
I feel lucky that I love my job. I took a huge leap of faith to Co-Found HappyHQ from a senior role in communications because I truly believe people deserve to feel happy and valued at work. I now also have the flexibility I need to work around being mum to two small boys, which has always been so important to me.

Like lots of working parents, life is extremely busy and non-stop. I’m conscious of the importance in self-care, so I make an effort to run or cycle outside most mornings. I come back feeling focused, full of ideas, and way more patient with the kids!

happy hq

Sounds dreamy. So, what about your favourite spot in Brighton, Hove or Sussex… where is your ‘happy’ place.
I live in Shoreham and I love it because of the sense of community, and the fact we’re surrounded by nature. The whole family thrives on being outdoors as much as possible, so it feels as though we’re spoilt for choice having a beach, a river, and the South Downs on our doorstep.

My happy place would have to be the beach with my sister and our families. It’s the place where I find it easy to be in the moment, probably because every member of the family gets something from it, and the kids can roam free.

And finally, what would your perfect day in Sussex look like?
It would be a pre-Covid sunny day. I’d start the morning with a paddle board and coffee at the beach, an afternoon mooching around Brighton’s North Laine, with a kid-free lunch with my husband. We’d then have friends back to ours for a BBQ and sundowners. I miss kitchen parties and hugs – so there would be a lot more of that if we could.

And now for some quick-fire questions…

What are your top three inspiring Instagram accounts you think we should follow and why? 
Goodnews_movement –the world needs more good news
Mother Pukka – for the hard work Anna does to push flexible working into ‘normal working life’
Anna Mathur – for lots of ‘lightbulb’ moments from therapist and author of Mindovermother

If you could only eat at one restaurant in Brighton, Hove or Sussex, where would it be & why?
I’m going to support local and say The Health Shack in Shoreham. It’s been my local go-to for great coffee, as well as their Buddha bowls for lunch.

Favourite Sussex walk or cycle?
The Downs Link along River Adur to Bramber Castle is stunning. The scenery, the horses, the hellos – it’s another happy place.

Want to find out more? Take a look at HappyHQ blog or follow them on Instagram to find out more about what they’re up to.