Every morning after your alarm rings, there’s that dreaded moment where you have to make the painful decision not to roll over and go back to sleep, but instead drag yourself out of bed and prepare for work. When you finally end up at your desk, you’ll spend another soul-draining day at work, wondering how in the world can someone be so happy to be in the office, even on those rainy mornings where everyone else would rather be in bed.
Why do most people feel so unhappy about being at work? Conversely, what about those who are actually happy at work? People who enjoy the time spent in the office make it that way for themselves, and here’s how you can be happier at work too.
Have a Sense of Purpose
Why are you working? Are you stuck in a job you hate simply because it pays the bills? If you go to work with this mindset, you’ll never enjoy working, because that’s all it will ever mean to you – a job that pays the bills. If you don’t like your job, you either make a career switch and find something that you love doing, or search for a part of your job that holds meaning for you and let it eventually become fulfilling through this sense of purpose. If you enjoy what you’re doing, you are less likely to dread going to work.
Make Your Space Yours
We usually spend an average of 8 hours a day at work from Mondays to Fridays. That’s at least a third of our week spent in the office, excluding a daily 8 hours of sleep. With all that time spent in the office, it’s good to personalise your space a little. Fill your cubicle walls with photos, get yourself a comfy pillow for your chair, or even house slippers to wear while seated. Whatever it is, make yourself comfortable and you will enjoy your workspace a lot more.
Once you’ve gotten yourself settled in at work, make sure your work area is well organized, so that you don’t have to end up frantically flipping through piles of papers and random knickknacks in order to find that important document. Having to deal with the hassle of confusing clutter can cause stress, especially when you’re rushing something urgently. All this unnecessary stress would just end up causing you more workplace unhappiness.
Make Friends at Work
Having friends to talk to makes the day go by a little faster and with more joy, and friends in the workplace foster a friendly and warm environment to work in, making your work experience more pleasant. If you’re bad at making friends, you can try engaging in small talk first. Ask your co-workers about their interests and let them warm up to you. Knowing their interests also helps you to start subsequent conversations. If all else fails, a genuine compliment is another good way to start a conversation.
Ask for Feedback
We all know how well we are performing at work, but we want to know what our boss feels about the work we’ve put in too. If you can, take some time to ask your boss what they truly feel about your work. If you think you haven’t been doing well, you’ll get some constructive feedback on how to improve; and if you’ve been doing well, it’s always nice to hear some words of affirmation!
Practice Workplace Etiquette
In order to have a friendly and welcoming work environment, everyone needs to practice good work etiquette so that work relations are not cold and people don’t feel ignored. Some of these good work habits are replying to emails promptly, saying please and thank you when asking for anything, giving credit where credit is due, and asking people what they think about work issues so they feel included.
Make Commitments You Can Keep
Not being able to keep to deadlines is one of the main reasons for work stress and unhappiness. Whenever an employee thinks they are unable to meet a deadline, they begin to worry about the consequences of not being able to keep the commitment. If you feel like you have too many commitments, let your boss know, and they can help to lessen your load if need be. Don’t volunteer to take on a new project when you already have too much on hand.
Avoid Workplace Gossip and Negativity
If you really want to have a happy time at work, choose to avoid all negativity. This means negative conversations, office gossip, and people who try to bring you down. No matter how positive you are, if you spend a lot of time around negativity, it will bring your positive energy down too. Likewise, gossiping about others invites others to gossip behind your back too, so don’t get yourself caught in that vicious cycle.
Take Short Breaks
Sitting at your desk and staring at your computer screen is not only not fun, but could also lead to health issues such as weight problems, strained eyesight, and carpal tunnel syndrome. Take short breaks every once in a while by getting up to stretch or take a short walk around the office. Not only is it good for your health, you can also boost your spirits by stopping for a quick friendly chat with your co-workers. Don’t stay away from your desk for too long though, after all you’re still on company time, and work comes first during work hours.
After a long day at work, give yourself a pat on the back by rewarding yourself with something you like. It doesn’t need to be dinner and wine at a fancy restaurant, It could be something simple like a relaxing bubble bath after work, or buying your favorite candy bar and munching on it on the way home from work. Knowing that you have something to look forward at the end of the day to just makes the work day go by so much quicker and your mood will be a lot brighter!