Are You Optimally Happy at Work?
When we finally graduate college and receive our much-coveted degrees, entering the workplace seems like a faraway dream, one where having our own desk, computer and name plate is enough to keep us on cloud nine for months. Unfortunately, the allure that a new office space offers during our days as new hires quickly fades, often into a boredom and disenchantment with our workspaces and co-workers.
Most of us spend more than half of our waking lives at work or en route to work, which means that an unsatisfactory work environment can have an astounding impact on our quality of life. Unfortunately, we don’t always take the time to create the most agreeable and comfortable work environments for ourselves. Job performance and overall happiness are just two of the things that suffer when our work environments aren’t up to snuff.
If you’re reading this and thinking that perhaps your workplace happiness levels aren’t what they should be, then take a look at our list of ways to increase that happiness and have an overall better work life.
1. Improve Your Desk Spaceimage credit: adamr/freedigitalphotos.net
Many people go into their first real jobs thinking that minimal decoration of their work space and very few items on their desktops is first step to limiting distractions and staying optimally productive. Unfortunately, the statistics on employee happiness levels rise when those employees are allowed to decorate their cubicles and bring in personal items for their desks. So indulge in a little bit of interior design for your desk space and cubicle; it could improve your overall office experience.
2. Keep a Plantimage credit: artur8/freedigitalphotos.net
There are several benefits to keeping a plant at your office desk, even if it’s just small one. A reminder of the natural world can help keep you calm in stressful situations, help refocus your attention when you feel hare-brained, and give you a sense of general well-being. If you aren’t interested in decorating your workspace, consider buying a nice bonsai tree to sit on the edge of your desk.
3. Introduce Yourself to All of Your Co-Workersimage credit: stockimages/freedigitalphotos.net
Another thing that negatively impacts office happiness is not feeling familiar and comfortable with each of your co-workers. If your office functions in rotating workspaces, meaning that you will be expected to sit next to a different co-worker every month, the adjustment to a new, completely unfamiliar co-worker can be a negative experience that detracts from your productivity. Take time to introduce yourself to new hires and chat up co-workers you haven’t met.
4. Bring Your Own Snacks
image credit: keko64/freedigitalphotos.net
Intense hunger while you’re supposed to be working is no laughing matter. Hunger can affect concentration and generally make you feel more irritable. In an environment that requires teamwork and communication with clients, you don’t want to let your hunger limit your efficiency. Have a stash drawer of snacks that you enjoy near your desk to keep you fueled up and feeling strong throughout the work day.
5. Deal Quickly with Slackers
image credit: david castillo dominici/freedigitalphotos.net
In the workforce, we are often required to work under and beside people who simply don’t pull their weight. When management looks at the end product, however, an unfinished task is the failure of the entire team, not the co-worker who slacked off throughout the project. Likewise, when you work twice as hard and produce twice as much work to make up for a slacker, you aren’t likely to get twice the credit.
Don’t put up with co-workers who don’t do their fair share; express your issues with their productivity and work ethic and encourage them to remedy the situation before your next project arises.
6. Move On from Disputes
image credit: ambro/freedigitalphotos.net
When you’re working on a team with other people, disputes will inevitably arise. Dealing with disputes at work is as simple as discussing what happened, doing your best to come to a resolution, and moving on. Refusing to let a dispute die can create a poisonous atmosphere in the office that spreads outside of your team and into other aspects of the work environment.
7. Allow Your Teammates to Make Mistakes]image credit: stockimages/freedigitalphotos.net
While you shouldn’t tolerate chronic laziness from your team members, you should also try to be understanding when one of your co-workers makes a mistake. In a high-stress work environment where time management is important, there are going to be mishaps. Figure out the most effective way to deal with the mishaps, as a team, and move on from the issue.
8. Don’t Skimp on the Office Chair
image credit: stockimages/freedigitalphotos.net
If you work a job that requires you to sit in a chair for many hours of the day, it will be well worth it to invest in one that is optimally comfortable. You might think you can’t afford the ergonomic, well-cushioned model, but 40+ hours a week of sitting in an uncomfortable chair will likely change your mind. Having a great office chair can improve your work happiness by improving the way your back feels at the end of the day and generally making your working hours more physically comfortable.
9. Don’t Be Afraid to Ask for Help
image credit: jesadaphorn/freedigitalphotos.net
Another thing that can definitely improve your office happiness is knowing you can ask for help and utilizing the opportunity to do so. Frustration and falling behind on tasks can often be eliminated by knowing you have a support system and are familiar enough with your co-workers to ask them for input or assistance if you get stuck. Likewise, always be willing to return the favor.
Our work lives consume much of our time and energy. Not only is it physically healthy to make positive changes to your office environment, you’ll reap many psychological benefits, as well. From feeling comfortable and confident to knowing you can communicate openly with your co-workers, workplace happiness can help you live a better life, inside and outside of the office.header image credit: stockimages/freedigitalphotos.net