Many people think that if only they worked for a cooler company, had a different job or made more money they would then be happy at work.
But Linda Trim, Director at workplace design specialists Giant Leap, said that we should look to ourselves first for work happiness. “The fundamental responsibility for being happy at work rests with the individual. You can be happier at work by following some simple ideas.”
These are her top tips:
Choose to be happy at work
Happiness is mostly a choice according to just about every expert. So you can choose to be happy at work. It sounds simple, but it’s often difficult to put into action.
“Think positively about your work. Dwell on the aspects that you enjoy. Find coworkers you like and spend your time with them. Your choices at work largely define your experience,” said Trim.
Only make commitments you can keep
One of the biggest causes of work stress and unhappiness is failing to keep commitments. Many employees spend more time making excuses for unkept commitments and worrying about the consequences than they do performing the tasks promised.
Create a system of organisation and planning that enables you to assess your ability to complete a requested commitment. “Don’t volunteer if you don’t have time. If your workload exceeds your available time and energy, make a comprehensive plan to ask for help and resources,” Trim advised.
Take charge of your personal & professional development
Said Trim: ”You are the person with the most to gain from continuing to develop professionally so take charge of your own growth.” Ask for specific and meaningful help from your boss, but stick to your plans and goals.
Make sure you know what is happening at work
People often complain that they don’t receive enough information about what’s happening with their company, projects or coworkers. They wait for their boss to fill them up with knowledge. But the knowledge rarely comes. Why? “Because the boss is busy doing their job and doesn’t know what you don’t know. Seek out the information you need to work effectively. Develop an information network and use it,” Trim advised.
Ask for feedback often
Many people complain that their boss never gives them any feedback, so they never know how they are doing. “The truth is, “ said Trim, “you probably know exactly how you’re doing especially if you feel positive about your performance.” If you’re not positive about your work, think about improving and making a greater effort. And then ask for feedback and an assessment of your work.
Don’t be a neg-head
Choosing to be happy at work means avoiding negative conversations, gossip, and unhappy people as much as possible. No matter how positive you feel, negative people have a profound impact on your psyche. Don’t let the neg-heads bring you down.
“One the best ways to be much happier at work is to have a best friend at work,“ said Trim. Enjoying your coworkers is a good predictor of a positive and happy work experience. Take time to get to know them.
If all fails, searching for a new job will make you happy
If none of these ideas makes you happy at work, it’s time to reevaluate your job.
Most work environments don’t change all that much. But unhappy employees tend to grow even more disgruntled. “You can secretly smile while you spend all of your non-work time searching for a job, “ Trim concluded.