The Covid 19 pandemic has turned work life upside down and digitalized it tremendously. Working from home has become the norm. New technical possibilities offered by online tools such as MS Teams, Slack, Asana, or other collaboration platforms can indeed reproduce the work process well virtually, but can we also use them to reach employees individually? Are employees only present or also engaged and motivated? After all, conversations in digital meetings are mostly functional and leave little room for small talk, which leads to emotional exhaustion.

A phenomenon described by the Institute for Occupation and Employability at the Ludwigshafen University of Applied Sciences as Zoom-Fatigue. In addition, more and more managers fear that the dialogue with employees will be lost more and more and that the company culture will suffer as a result. Therefore, the crisis demands a new style of leadership online and offline, perhaps even a completely new organizational culture. One question that needs to be solved is: How can I reach employees on a personal level via digital channels, measure their happiness, and increase their happiness?

With this question in mind, we approached our partner Breitenstein Consulting, which has been supervising interdisciplinary student programs from business administration and psychology at LMU Munich for several years. Here, a team of students accompanies a project as scientific advisors for several months. We would like to share the exciting results that were developed in this close cooperation in this article:

1. Why is employee happiness so important to us right now?

Everyday workplaces have been turned upside down in the last two years. Home office and hybrid work are increasingly coming into daily focus and challenge employees and managers. Maintaining happiness in the team is one of them. We at live all our values (smart. secure. human). In addition to our mission to make M&A processes more efficient through digitalization, we put people - as customers, users, and employees - especially in the foreground. Our employees don't have a job at our company, we have a team of enthusiastic, highly committed individuals who are passionate about our core values and want to change the world of M&A. Although we are very excited about our culture, we don't take it for granted. That's why we're always looking for innovative ways to stay still happy and motivated in our new challenge in the home office.

To achieve this mission, we have gathered energetic support on board. In a cooperation project with Breitenstein Consulting, and the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität Munich, we wanted to hear from young and enthusiastic students about the possibilities for recording and improving employee satisfaction in home office. Thereby, the team of four students created a great digital toolbox, which records the degree of satisfaction (happiness) with the help of a short pulse check survey and shows changes in a happiness dashboard at an early stage. This is supported by a happiness playbook with various tools and methods to promote team satisfaction.

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2. What are the digital tools behind the Home-Office-Happiness-Playbook?

The mentioned digital toolbox consists of three components: Pulse Check, Happiness Analysis Dashboard and Happiness Playbook. If you combine these, you get a powerful online tool that makes it easier to create the right actions for your team. For the technical implementation, we supported the students team with our extensive app suite from the platform. The Home-Office-Happiness-Playbook consists of the following 3 products:

Pulse Check
Unlike a traditional survey, a Pulse Check consists of only a few questions that are answered by the team at regular and short intervals. This creates a "pulse" that can identify trends quickly and at an early stage. Our Pulse Check, consisting of 12 questions, helps to capture the essential aspects that contribute to the happiness of an employee. Importantly, the completion time is less than 5 minutes, so the survey can be conducted more frequently. The focus of the questionnaire is on specific aspects of the home office and general aspects of job satisfaction. Thanks to our platform, this questionnaire can be modular as well. This way, accents can easily be emphasized or survey questions can be taken out.

Happiness Analysis Dashboard
The data obtained from the Pulse Check is visualized in a real-time dashboard and provides a live picture of our team's happiness at any time. Here too, the platform gives us a helping hand with comprehensive reporting functions, automated updates and ease of use. This means that we can spend all our time interpreting the results and planning concrete actions.


Happiness Analysis Dashboard

Happiness Playbook
During the project, the student team was already using the Playbook app, allowing them to collaborate, share tasks and create content effectively. Finally, this project playbook was developed into a finished online guide in which we documented all the important steps. But how can numbers become an action? This is exactly what this online guide is now made for. The core of the guide is the Action Plan, which contains concrete measures to maintain or increase "happiness".
Individual categories will be addressed to avoid lumping people together with overly general actions.

3. What does all this have to do with M&A?

As a happy user of the Home-Office-Happiness-Playbook and provider of a platform to make M&A processes more efficient, we have now asked ourselves whether this Playbook also has a connection to M&A.
At, we are not only looking for ways to make M&A processes more efficient through digitalization, in our values (smart. secure. human), people, as customers, users and employees, have a special position. Employees are not perceived with their fears, worries, but also hopes. The lack of offline communication in home office is likely to worsen this problem, as the needs of the colleagues are no longer easily accessible with a short small-talk between two meetings. Due to the lack of good communication during change, employee happiness is now dropping. To prevent this, professional change management companies like Breitenstein Consulting use digital tools like Pulse Checks to make change processes more effective. Tim Bookas, CEO of Breitenstein Consulting, likes to use the App Suite from to conduct real-time pulse checks, cultural due diligence or health assessments. The new Home-Office-Happiness-Playbook also has great potential for him, as this tool supports the process of increasing employee happiness and corresponds to the trend towards virtualizing corporate culture. 

The Home-Office-Happiness-Playbook is, therefore, more than useful for increasing happiness in the change of an M&A project. It should be emphasized that the implementation does not require much additional time. The core objective is to create actions to improve happiness while tailoring them to the needs of the employees. This prevents the team's culture of trust from being damaged by wrong and too generic actions. Another advantage is the modularity of the survey. Due to the possibility of individually adapting the questions, it can also be used for post-merger integrations. The toolbox helps to assess the current level of satisfaction in the team and provides interpretations and suggestions for action in a time-saving way.

We are very happy about the cooperation and thank the four student experts for their active help. With the toolbox, we at manage to maintain our team spirit through transparent communication.

Severin Falkenhahn

Severin Falkenhahn

Scientific Practitioner and LMU x Breitenstein Consulting Project Participant

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Article Topics

Post-Merger Integration
Business Transformation