Since it’s International Happiness Day today, we thought it would be a good time to talk about happiness at work. With workplace illness and absenteeism on the rise, happiness in the workplace has become a practical concern. Companies like Google now employ people whose sole job is to improve employee happiness.
What actually makes people happy at work, though? Is it the job or the environment? Or is it human interaction or just straight up work satisfaction? Well, of course, it’s different for everyone, but there are some strategies we can take that will help us find our own way. Of course, you want to feel like you’re succeeding. To do that, you need to be fit for the job.
Health in the workplace is especially important, but also one of the easiest things to address. Contributing factors to workplace unhappiness, like back pain and RSI, can be addressed with physical solutions. Of course, this is only part of the issue, but an important one.
The major contributing factor to absenteeism and poor performance, however, is stress-related illnesses such as depression. Therefore, making sure you are happy at work is not only about feeling good – it’s about making sure you can be the best you can be and doing the job to the best of your ability, enabling you to meet your career goals.
Choose To Be Happy At Work
The first and most important step towards improving your happiness is to make the choice. Of course, it is harder for some than others to remain positive. However, it’s true of all of us that if we set that as a goal and take positive action towards it, we can certainly improve our situation.
Taking a simple step like concentrating on the things you enjoy in your job, and not dwelling on the aspects which you don’t enjoy can make a big difference. Choosing to spend more time with colleagues you like, and avoiding negative people and workplace gossip, can also really boost your sense of well-being in the workplace. Concentrating on your happiness can only make things better – this excellent infographic should get you thinking about your workplace happiness.
Only Make Commitments You Can Keep
Overcommitting is cited as one of the biggest causes of workplace stress. However, with proper planning and forethought, and by learning how to say no when needed, this can be avoided in most situations. Some workers who overcommit actually spend more time worrying and making excuses than they do finishing the task. So ultimately, if you know you don’t have the capacity, it’s better for everyone that you don’t take on the work. Learning how to say no, and planning your workload effectively, will both help with this.
Take Charge Of Your Professional Development
One of the major complaints from employees is that they don’t feel that they’re developing. If you feel like you’re stagnating in your work, maybe it’s time you took charge? After all, the person with the most invested in your career is always going to be you. It’s up to you to make sure that you keep on a path that satisfies your own career goals and objectives. Asking your boss for help and feedback is a great way of making sure you’re meeting expectations, but it’s important that you focus on your own path too.
If you feel that you’d be productive and comfortable working at a standing desk, don’t hesitate to come forward to your boss. If it makes you happy then you’ll work better, so it’s a positive for all involved. Employers, consider these tips to improve employee wellness at work.
Make Friends At Work
It is as true in your personal life as it is at work; everything’s better with friends! Not only that, a support network in the workplace can be invaluable. Being able to take a break with a friend and unload can make all the difference on the tough days. Also, having people to laugh and discuss things with in our downtime improves our happiness and sense of well-being. So make an effort to get to know your colleagues: you might find out you like them!
As we discussed before, it’s important that you feel like you’re progressing and developing. Although you may be happy in your role right now, if you have career goals you are working towards, this will enhance your sense of satisfaction. So keep an eye out for any career opportunities at your place of work. You may find asking your boss for more responsibilities might help, or you may find you have your eye on your boss’ job!
And if it feels like there are no opportunities for you right now, it’s well worth letting your boss know you are ready and seeing if there’s anything they can suggest. If none of this bears any fruit, of course, it may be time to look for a more satisfying role elsewhere!
Flexible Work And Work-life Balance
Studies have shown that achieving a positive work-life balance not only improves happiness but often productivity too. The right balance for you though will depend on your situation – those with young children will be happiest if they get plenty of time at home, whereas if you’re a career-focused and ambitious individual you may well be happiest at work! It’s important that you assess which aspects of your life are most important and prioritise these so that you dedicate your time to things which fulfill your personal needs.
Chief executive of Business Talent Group Grace Miller says; “Focus on the things that are important to you and don’t do the extraneous stuff. It’s a discipline that doesn’t come too naturally to most of us.”
So it’s pretty clear to see that there are many steps you can take towards workplace happiness! If you choose to do it, you can create an environment that works for you too. Learning not to overcommit and taking charge of your career goals and development will lower stress levels and allow you to focus on what’s really important to you. Your physical health is just as important – purchasing a standing work station can benefit your health at the office.
By balancing your work and home lives in a way that suits you and by building a social network at the office, you can maintain your wellbeing and ensure you are the best worker you can be. Since today is International Happiness Day, apply these steps now and make a move towards improving your workplace happiness.