Being unhappy at work seems to have become an almost modern habit, mainly due to workers feeling overworked, and unbalanced between their personal and professional lives.
Statistics regularly show that most people are bored and unhappy in their jobs, outnumbering their happy colleagues by a ratio of two to one. Job stress is affecting 80% of the workforce (American Institute of Stress). But it doesn’t have to be that way! You can choose to be happier at work, no matter what.
Work happiness is a state of mind, which you have control over. You can choose to look at the negatives OR you can choose to find positives, along with using your skills and abilities, to have work satisfaction.
Here are six ways you can be happier at work, starting today!
- Find meaning in your work
Not everyone can be Mother Theresa, but the chances are that most people can choose to find some meaning in their day to day work. Whether it’s mentoring a colleague or finding a better way to write reports, you can bring meaning to any job. Even having a positive attitude can help to improve office culture and create happier teams. Match your skills to job tasks to find more meaning, and focus on the outcomes of your work and the difference you make.
- Create your own space
Unless your office hot-desks, you can create your own space within company limits. It might be a framed photo of your loved ones or your dog, a potted plant or a special coffee mug. You can have a candle (not burning it) or a diffuser, as scents are relaxing. Anything that makes you feel relaxed will help improve your mood.
- Choose to be positive
Luckily positivity is as contagious as negativity. Why not choose to smile, say good morning and thank you to your colleagues, admin and cleaning staff. Some basic good manners and friendliness can lift the mood of the whole office. It also can also mark you out as a positive team member and potential leader. People always remember how you made them feel, so make sure you try to make people feel good!
- Take your breaks
Nothing is as dispiriting as putting in a full day without a break. Unless there’s an office crisis and it’s all-hands-on-deck, make sure you take your coffee and lunch breaks. And try to leave the office. A walk in the park will lower your stress level and restore your energy. You’ll go back to the office in a much more positive frame of mind.
Every 20 2-30 minutes, take a ‘brain break’ which can consist of taking deep breaths, standing up and walking around your chair, or some leg lifts – these will recharge your brain and help with productivity and performance.
- Look after yourself
It’s also important not to run your energy levels down by skipping lunch or having unhealthy snacks. Make sure to eat well and stay hydrated. Drinking coffee all day will dehydrate you and make you feel frazzled. Drink water and keep your blood sugar regulated. Take deep breaths, i.e. mindfulness, to relieve tension and stress throughout the day.
- Reward yourself
Get into the habit of celebrating all your successes, big and small. Whether it’s finishing a project, or delivering a presentation, or even making that difficult phone call; celebrate the smaller actions, also – compliments you hear, helping out a colleague, making a contribution – make sure you pat yourself on the back as this will raise satisfaction and confidence levels to be more engaged. You can set larger rewards, such as treating yourself to buying your favorite book or having a dinner out.
Work happiness does not have to be elusive, as it’s all how you look at your situations. Another tip is to be mindful of your coworker’s complaints, as negativity can spread and you will find things to be unhappy about. As stated earlier, you have the control on how you choose to think about your job. Why not look positively? You can learn to love your job.
If you’re struggling with workplace stress or job unhappiness, reach out to get help and learn strategies that will lead to more satisfaction and engagement. We work with teams, also.