"Happy wife, happy life," is an expression that all good partners keep in mind. It's not so far off from what a boss should think about on a daily basis. In his or her case, the expression goes, "Successful business, happy employees." A recent study by the Social Market Foundation and the University of Warwick's Centre for Competitive Advantage in the Global Economy revealed that happy employees are 12% more productive. A boss is only as good as his or her employees' combined effort. That's why it's essential that employees' happiness be prioritized. Here are some tips for building your office community and productivity.

1. Capitalize on Happy Hour

What better way to get happy than to go to Happy Hour? There's a reason why most bars and restaurants give deals right after the work day. They want you and your coworkers to take a seat and stay a while. Many workers have a mentality that at 5:00, it's time to leave. But spending that extracurricular time with your coworkers in a non-work environment can help you bond and learn more about each other.

2. Do Something Nice

According to Drew Hendricks of Forbes, not only is charitable giving healthy for the soul, but in a business context, "it provides networking and marketing opportunities while also increasing the business's presence in the community." Organizing a voluntary outing among coworkers is a great way to give back without having to give up a day off. Knock off both good karma and publicity with one stone!

3. Test the Boundaries of Teamwork

Another fun and effective way to see how your team can work together outside of the office is to do some kind of group activity, like Escape the Room, in which your coworkers will be tasked with solving riddles to escape from a locked room. These kinds of things encourage working together and troubleshooting in a fun environment, which can then be translated back into the office.

4. Bring in Lunch

At many offices, lunch occurs between the hours of 11 and 4, continually, with people ordering in food from several different restaurants, or going out on solo missions to pick up bland sandwiches. Establish one day per week when everyone sets aside an actual lunch break and eats together. It's like a family dinner.

5. Treat Yourselves

If you can't manage to get the whole department together for lunch, bringing in a simple box of doughnuts can create the same effect. A little bit of sugary encouragement never hurt anyone, in moderation of course.

6. Celebrate the Small Things

Sometimes people get a little touchy about knowing things about their coworkers' personal lives. But there is a healthy amount that coworkers should reveal. For example, their birthdays! Even small things like singing Happy Birthday can have a huge impact and boost morale.

7. Be Silly

Coworkers a little stuck-up? It's time to hit the nearest karaoke bar and see what vocal chops your team has. If you need some inspiration, here are some perfect office karaoke songs for the Madonna in all of us.

If you're looking for ways to get closer to your coworkers and start feeling like a team, it's time to start bonding.

Coworkers are people, too.

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NBC

Over the past month, both Haiti and Afghanistan have been pummeled by tragic disasters that left devastation in their wake.

In Haiti, a 7.2 magnitude earthquake erupted, leading over to 2,189 deaths and counting. A few hours later, in Afghanistan, Kabul fell to the Taliban just after U.S. troops had pulled out after 20 years of war.

In many ways, these disasters are both chillingly connected to US interference. The United States invaded Haiti in 1915, ostensibly promising to restore order after a presidential assassination but really intending to preserve the route to the Panama Canal and to defend US creditors, among other reasons.

But the US forces soon realized that they were not able to control the country alone, and so formed an army of Haitian enlistees, powered by US air power and intended to quell Haitian insurrection against US controls. Then, in 1934, the US pulled out on its own, disappointed with how slow progress was going. Haiti's institutions were never really able to rebuild themselves, leaving them immensely vulnerable to natural disasters.

Something similar happened in Afghanistan, where the US sent troops and supported an insurgent Afghan army – only to pull out, abandoning the country they left in ruins, with many Afghans supporting the Taliban.

In both cases, defense contractors benefited by far the most from the conflict, making billions in profits while civilians faced fallout and devastation. While the conflicts and circumstances are extremely different and while the US is obviously not solely to blame for either crisis, it's hard not to see the US-based roots of these disasters.

Today, in Haiti and Afghanistan, civilians are facing unimaginable tragedy.

Here are charities offering support in Afghanistan:

1. The International Rescue Committee is looking to raise $10 million to deliver aid directly to Afghanistan

2. CARE is matching donations for an Afghanistan relief fund. They are providing food, shelter, and water to families in need; a donation of $89.50 covers 1 family's emergency needs for a month.

3. Women for Women International is matching donations up to 500,000 for Afghan women, who will be facing unimaginable horrors under Taliban control.


4. AfghanAid offers support for people living in remote regions of Afghanistan.

5. VitalVoices supports female leaders and changemakers and survivors of gender-based violence around the world.

Here are charities offering support in Haiti:

1. Partners in Health has been working with Haiti for a long time, and they work with the Department of Health rather than around them, which is extremely important in a charity.

2. Health Equity International helps run Saint Boniface Hospital, a hospital in Haiti close to the earthquake's epicenter.

3. SOIL is an organization based Haiti, "a local organization with a track record of supporting after natural disasters." They are distributing hygiene kits and provisions on the ground to hospitals and to victims of the earthquake.

4. Hope for Haiti has been working in emergency response in Haiti for three decades, and their team is comprised of people who live and work in Haiti. They focus on supporting children and people in need across Haiti.