In the name of full disclosure, I must admit I am currently not officially ‘employed’, however as a full time stay-at-home mum (for now...) of three I am definitely WORKING. Back in the day I was teaching, and I loved my workplace. What a difference that made to my overall happiness, especially compared to some of the other less inspiring workplaces I experienced in my younger years **cough retail cough**. We spend a third of our lives at work so it makes sense that our work satisfaction is integral to our overall sense of wellbeing. I am a lover of simplicity and effectiveness, so I compiled the following list of my top nine proven to be effective tips that you can apply to increase your own loving feelings towards your job.
Move closer to work. Research has shown that shorter commutes to work improve our overall happiness more than a better job or a bigger house.
Fresh air. Factor in at least 20 minutes a day outside in the fresh air, it will put you in a good mood and improve your concentration.
Give up the workplace gossip. Don’t partake in any negative conversations about others in the workplace. It gives you a little high for the moment, but drags you down in the long term.
Create personal daily or weekly rituals. For example, having your coffee under the beautiful oak tree outside the office, or bring in a fresh bunch of flowers for your office every Monday morning.
Praise others. Make a point of expressing your appreciation or respect to those around you. It’s proven that being respected and appreciated has a huge impact on your work satisfaction, so as they say 'be the change you want to see', by showing others respect and praise you are helping to create positive energy within your workplace. Which you will probably find flowing back your way.
Plan an annual holiday. Lockdown is over, no excuses. Have the countdown going and little reminders to keep you excited.
Be intentional with your wardrobe. Scientific studies have shown that what we wear to work impacts our productivity, and that worker morale is higher when the dress code is more relaxed. Dressing in corporate attire has been shown to improve our ability to negotiate and to think in more abstract ways. Figure out what you want to feel and portray at work and dress the part.
Position your desk with your back to a wall, facing a view of the door or a window. If you can sit looking towards a view of nature, you will experience lower blood pressure, decreased stress hormones and increased ability to focus. This is especially helpful for those of us working from home.
Stop expecting to be happy all the time. Ok this one tip is actually not scientifically backed (that I know of) but borne of my own experience. Expecting to be happy all the time, and to feel upbeat and positive all the time, or even nearly all of the time, is just unrealistic. You will feel disappointed when the majority of your work day is actually a bit of a grind. But remind yourself that work is what builds strength of character and self-esteem, and that it should be hard, so you can grow. I’ve found that when I decide to put my head down and really dig in, instead of trying to have a GREAT day, is actually when the great days occur, as a byproduct of being fully immersed in the task at hand. Also, the feeling of pride we get from knowing we really put in the effort that day and pushed ourselves, is such a reward in itself, no matter your profession.
If you can apply even two of these tips to your own life, I am sure your working days will improve, and you will be reminded that we can always impact and improve our circumstances. If you have any tips of your own that you wish to share with others, please feel free to contribute in the comments. Let us know what you think and how you go if you try any of the above!