Happy Valentine’s Day!
This week, we’re thinking about one of the most important aspects of working life – How to Stay Happier in the Workplace! Read on for some of Andy’s top tips for keeping positive at work – whether you’ll be celebrating Valentine’s Day this year or not!
How we feel about our jobs is an easily overlooked aspect of our working lives – so much so that a 2017 study found employees in the UK at a rating of only 67% job satisfaction, lower than in much of Europe, and the United States’ rating of 72%.
Feeling like you want to go into work every day is considered a luxury to many of us, but studies are increasingly showing that happiness in the workplace has a significant impact on productivity and effectiveness – making it a growing priority for both employers and employees alike.
Finding joy in a job you don’t feel any real love for can be a struggle, but we’re here for you this week with some handy ways to help improve life in the office!
1. Your Colleagues
We spend the majority of our adult lives at work – which for most, means that you’re likely to see your work colleagues more often than your regular non-work friends.
How much we like or get along with the people around us is perhaps the single biggest contributor to happiness at work – having positive relationships with your co-workers can boost job satisfaction by a whopping 50%.
Finding the people you get on best with around the office is one of the best ways to make your job something you want to go into work for each day. There are plenty of ways to make social activities a part of your day – whether its timing your lunch break to coincide with a friendly co-worker, or an office trip to the pub after work on a Friday night.
Even small acts of kindness, like making a round of tea and coffee, can go a long way in fostering a positive attitude and a genuine sense of community around the office.
2. Work/Life Balance
Negativity in the workplace doesn’t always necessarily begin there. We all carry our own emotional baggage around with us, which means a bad mood is likely to follow you to work after a stressful commute or a rough night the day before.
Don’t be afraid to disconnect yourself from work when you’re at home – it might sound obvious, but in an increasingly mobile world, there’s a growing feeling that we need to be connected at all times simply because we can be, and that can uncomfortably blur the line between your work time and your ‘you’ time.
Your colleagues can also be a fantastic outlet for both work-related and life-related stress. If you’re feeling overworked or underappreciated, chances are you’re not the only one in the office who feels that way. Talking to your co-workers – even in an unrelated chat – might not necessarily solve the root problem, but at the very least it can help a lot in making things more manageable.
Being able to recognise when you’re getting burned out – or spotting those same signs in a colleague – is an important step in improving your mental wellbeing. Tired minds are less focussed and less productive than well-rested ones, and that can quickly spiral into a feeling of negativity or unhappiness if left unchecked.
Regular breaks, even very short ones, can make a huge difference to your mindset as you work and have a dramatic effect on productivity to boot. Taking a minute to stretch, or having a quick wander around the office to get a bit of blood pumping again will get your body releasing endorphins that will improve mood, and help keep you feeling wakeful and alert.
A minute or two of quiet meditation, or even simply taking a mental step back from a task or problem for a short while, can help relieve stress and refocus you going forward.
Snacks can also work wonders on a tiring mind or body – a quick hit of something sweet is a satisfying way to re-energise, and can easily be made into a social activity by something so simple as offering a jelly baby to the people sitting next to you – which brings us nicely onto…
Almost everyone loves a good bite to eat – so it’ll likely come as no surprise that 67% of employees are happier with free food or snacks in the workplace.
As an employer, laying on the occasional spread of snacks or an office lunch every now and then is a great way to show your staff that they’re appreciated and valued by the company, and can often be done without having to break the bank.
Naturally, not every company will necessarily be in a position to treat their staff to free food.
A great alternative for the more enterprising employee is to bring in something from home to share; whether that means a pack of doughnuts for your immediate friends, or a larger spread of sweets and treats for the whole floor is up to you (and your wallet!) – in either case, sharing something nice with your colleagues is a great way to foster team spirit and strengthen burgeoning office friendships.
And that’s all from me for this week! Hopefully these tips will help make your workplace a less daunting and a generally happier place, whether you’ll be going home to a Valentine’s Day date or not!
Have a great, healthy week at work – and we’ll see you next week!
Join us next week for Part 3 of ‘Be Better at the Basics’!
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