How to Be Happier at Work

Posted on Thursday, September 16, 2021 by The Office Zen MasterNo comments

From groans on Monday mornings to Friday celebrations, it’s almost expected that we won’t be happy at work. Culturally, we’ve normalised this experience, and it’s certainly no well-guarded secret that many of us would like to be happier in our careers. But being happy, and indeed happier, at work isn’t a dream to chase. It can be a reality.

What creates happiness at work?

Many people tend to think that it’s the extrinsic rewards that make or break their happiness at work. However, money is only a minimal motivator. As long as you feel financially valued and aren’t consumed by worry about meeting your basic needs, your salary doesn’t really make a huge difference. 

Instead, it is the intrinsic rewards that determine your happiness at work. This includes satisfaction, having a sense of meaning and purpose, and relationships with your co-workers. Other things, such as opportunities for growth and development, levels of autonomy, feedback, variety, and the demands placed on you all play a part as well.

So, what are some of the ways you can improve your happiness at work?

  1. Getting the balance right

    One way is to gain a sense of balance across all aspects of your life. If you feel like work is taking up more hours than you’re prepared to give (including those spent thinking or worrying about it away from the office), and detracting from your ability to live the life you want, then resentment and grievance in the workplace can grow.

  2. Meaning and purpose

    As human beings, we all thrive when we find our meaning and purpose. We know that for some in office support jobs, it may feel like your purpose is minimal and often overlooked by others. However, examine the reasons behind doing your job. Do you make someone else’s life easier? Does it enable you to live in London, a city you love? Does what you do help ensure others are employed? There will always be a way to imbue your work with meaning.

  3. Add autonomy where you can

    We all have parts of our jobs that we have little control over. They just have to be done. But you do have control over certain elements. Can you choose when to do your least favourite task, for example? Can you place greater emphasis on the tasks you enjoy? Can you take on an additional, more fulfilling task to counterbalance the one you dislike?

  4. Focus on relationships

    Your workplace relationships can make or break your day. By forging good and meaningful relationships with your co-workers, you will feel connected and involved. It’s always worth investing time in them. Consider becoming a mentor or mentee, or why not organise a lunchtime club or social event?

  5. Reframing and gratitude

    Ever noticed that some people simply seem happier and more content than others? Their lives aren’t necessarily different—they’ve just learned to focus on the positives and see the good in the little things, whilst dialing down the volume of the negative stuff. Be honest with yourself about whether you could reframe some of your perceptions of work, and actively think about what you are grateful for in your job.

These simple steps will help you feel happier at work. But sometimes, there’s only so far you can go. If you’ve tried to improve your happiness and the workplace setting is at fault, it could be time to move on. Register as a candidate today and find a job where you can be happy.

 

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