If you work 40 hours out of a 168-hour week, it means that you spend almost a quarter of your week at work. Of course, you probably want to make sure those hours are more enjoyable than not.
However, the bitter reality is that most people are not happy at work. Work can be stressful, but that doesn’t mean happiness can’t be achieved. Here are some happy ways you can begin to love your job and actually walk into your company a positive person.
Love what you do.
We feel the happiest and most accomplished when we engage ourselves in tasks that are meaningful, conductive to our professional and personal growth, and invigorating. We feel a sense of happiness when we are in our “zone”, deeply immersed in doing something we like. As they say, when you love your job, you never have to work a day. When we love our jobs, the work becomes our passion, and we achieve gratification beyond financial benefits. Even if you don’t already love your job, you can feel positive about it by visualizing it as something you are willing to do, not something that is forced upon you. We are most productive when we are doing what we want to do, rather than what we think is being forced upon us.
Stay abreast of what is happening at work.
Feeling out of the loop at work or not knowing the ins and outs of workplace gossips and developments can leave you feeling dissatisfied and undervalued. If you are someone who would rather stay off the radar and then wait for someone else to spill the tea, you will always be the last one to find out. Instead of finding out what is going on in your team, organization, or even your co-workers through a co-worker, we suggest that you keep your eyes and ears open and actively seek out information that you need to accomplish your goals, do your job successfully, and even stay on the same page with colleagues.
Develop an information network and use it. You can even hold one-on-one meetings with your boss and get them to talk. Your workplace may not have a culture of open communication, but if you are in charge of finding the information you need, you will never need anyone else to fill you in. Not only will this enable you to do your job better, but you will also feel a greater sense of control over the trajectory of your career.
To be happy and stay productive from work, you need to stay away from your laptops, phones, and all other digital devices from time to time. Even talking on your phone or checking your emails frequently can be stress-producing. Not to mention, while uninterrupted screen time can lead to depression and exhaustion, according to experts. Technology is here to stay. But it is up to us to figure out how it can make us more successful without bogging us down; In order to avoid burnout, practicing an hour or two of digital detox regularly allows us to recharge and recover.
Smile a lot.
Smiling has an instant effect on your happiness and optimism. Whether you are genuinely smiling or faking it, constant smiling tricks your mind into construing that physical reaction as positive and instantly associate whatever you are doing as fun. Even if you are not much of a jovial fellow, fake it till you make it; soon, your brain will start to associate work with fun.
So, put on a cheesy grin while you’re working on that interminable report, poring over a dreary book, working on that challenging client pitch; and you might just find yourself feeling a little bit better about it. If you aren’t finding enough reasons to smile today, run a list of your accomplishments, compliments, and thank-yous from real people, and it just might cheer you up.
Take a break.
You get paid time for a reason. Taking a break from work and taking vacations isn’t only vital for your happiness; it is also good for your career. Nearly 57% of Americans never use their vacation days, which means they will probably never catch up on sleep, stay productive and efficient, and love their jobs. If there is someplace you have always wanted to see, snatch up those plane tickets and bon voyage!
However, if you cannot disengage completely from work but are yearning for a change of scenery, consider taking a workcation. Workcations allow you to work remotely from anywhere you want, even the remotest corners of the world as long as you don’t disappear off the grid. You still stay connected to the office and get work done while enjoying the waves lashing against the shores or the sun shine brightly upon a breathtaking meadow! How could that not make you happy?
Don’t work after hours.
Unless it’s an emergency or some sort of unique circumstance, you should always strive to finish up on time and clock out when your shift ends. Not to mention, try not to stay plugged in 24/7, so that your colleagues and bosses can pester you even after work. Organizations should never implement an environment that encourages an “always-on” team.
The key to maintaining the perfect work-life balance is to tune out when your working hours and over and transition into your personal life.
Stay away from Negative employees.
We all know our fair share of coworkers who start whining about work, their workload, and gripe about the bosses the second they walk in. Not to mention, they are gossipmongers and take a perverse pleasure in spilling the tea. So, limit time with negative coworkers or their pessimism will rub off on you. Such employees are forever thankless and negative and will drain your energy and optimism as well.
Spend time with the people who are positive and moving up. These are the people you wish to cultivate your relationship with, because they will benefit you in the future. Choosing to be happy at work means avoiding negative conversations, idle gossiping, and unhealthy work relationships as much as possible.
Cultivate meaningful relations at work.
You should aim to stay connected to a select few people rather than large numbers of superficial connections.
Studies have shown that cultivating meaningful relationships with people who truly look out for us, boosts our own productivity and happiness. It is more fulfilling to feel and be involved in relationships where we can share what makes us tick. Deep and nurturing conversations are much more though-provoking and motivational than trivial, superficial chit-chat.
Find people you can express yourself with and have your feelings well received. When we are with the people who life and support us, the more productive we can be in all the ways life and career require.
Get enough sleep.
Here’s why catching a few extra z’s every night can be beneficial for your career, as well as happiness and productivity.
Sleep has a direct co-relation to workplace happiness since lack of sleep causes us to stay grumpy and in a bad mood all day. Not to mention, being well-rested allows you to focus and think better, meaning you spend less time zoned out and more time engaged. Once you develop the habit of sleeping soundly for at least eight hours at night, you will be a much more tolerable, amiable, and happy employee.
According to a study, employees who sleep well tend to be healthier, happier, and even safer. Taking care of ourselves and prioritizing sleep, hydration, and nutrition are important parts of being able to be happy at work. Not to mention, you could really rid of those dark bags under your eyes.
Paint the town red on Weekend.
When Friday afternoon rolls around and you are caught between sneaking that file into your bag or just leave everything behind and make the most of your weekend; you know what to do! Weekends are essential for getting a vestige of normalcy to your work/life balance. Dragging your work home with you every weekend sets you up for a downfall: you will never be able to actually leave work behind and transition into your personal life.
Use your weekends to spend time unwinding with family and friends or rebooting your batteries in private. After a fun, adventurous weekend, you will actually be happy in the boardroom come Monday morning.