How To Find Joy In Your Work
It’s no secret that happy employees work harder and are more productive and motivated than unhappy employees. In February of 2012, Harvard Business Review reported that “happy employees have 31% higher productivity, their sales are 37% higher; their creativity is three times higher.”
The question is though, how do we become happy employees? With any job, there is stress. And it’s not always easy to stay connected to our joy all of the time, especially when an important deadline is looming, when dealing with an unreasonable and upset client, or even when we’re just tired. There are, however, a few practices that we can implement to help us get back to that joy and bring happiness back into the workplace.
1. Take Pride in What You Do
Khalil Gibran once said that “Work is love made visible.” One way of interpreting this is that, if you love what you do, you’ll never work a day in your life. Another is that if you take pride in your work, people will notice. If something is worth doing, it’s worth doing well. And seeing a job well done that you yourself have completed is certain to give you an ego boost.
2. Remind Yourself of Why You Work
Most of us work so that we can afford to maintain the lifestyle that we have, whether it be paying a mortgage on our dream home, driving around in that shiny new car, or taking vacations to far off destinations. Reminding ourselves of all that work allows us to do can keep that joy in perspective. A good way to do this is to keep a picture of what you love at your desk. So the next time you’re feeling fatigued, you can see the smiling faces of the children who are living a happy life because of your providing for them.
Taking five or ten minutes a day to meditate can greatly reduce stress. Reciting a mantra, or just focusing on your breath can have a wonderfully relaxing effect. Take a few moments a day to close your door, find an empty room, or a bench outside to experience the effects yourself.
If you’re interested in developing a regular meditation practice, David Couper Consulting can help. Check us out at DavidCouperConsulting.com/meditation, for more information.
4. Buy a Workplace Plant
Not only do indoor plants clean and filter the air around us, but they also have a pleasing effect on the aesthetics of the office. Most everyone appreciates a beautiful plant. Buy a plant seedling and bring it into the office. Watching how the plant grows under your care is a great way to create a visual reflection of how you are growing and learning yourself.
5. Do a Group Plank
At a former place of employment, a group of people would set their alarm every day at noon. At that time, each one of them would stop what they were doing and get on the floor for a short series of 30-second planks. It only took a total of 2 minutes out of their day, but the effect was incredible. It forced people to take a break, if only for a short time. People felt good about doing something healthy and productive for their bodies. And it created a wonderful social team building aspect since everyone did it together. Give it a try with your team.
6. Celebrate Birthdays
Do you know what’s better than a normal Monday? A Monday with cake! If you don’t already celebrate people’s birthdays at your place of employment, ask your coworkers if any of them would like to participate in birthday celebrations by sending around a calendar or creating a shared electronic calendar. Whoever wants to celebrate can add their name.
7. Implement a Crazy Hat Day
When we were younger, school seemed a lot like the way work feels today. So, why not take a cue from how teachers made school more fun back then? It was fun to get creative and see the funky looks and styles of others, and it can be fun still. Speak with your organization about a potential monthly or quarterly special day. Click here for even more fun ideas: https://www.signupgenius.com/school/spirit-day-themes.cfm.
8. Listen to Music
It’s no secret that there is power in music. Listening to sad songs can help us release pent up tears. Just as listening to happy upbeat songs can help boost our mood. Pick something that puts you in a good mood and listen to it at work. Wear headphones if your coworkers aren’t big on music. Or better yet, see if there’s something that you can all agree on and play it for everyone. After all, those who sing together, stay together.
9. Speak Up For Yourself
It’s rare that people will be able to pick up on your troubles or needs without your verbally expressing them. While there may be scenarios where swallowing your tongue is for the best, it’s worthwhile to double check with yourself. If something won’t work for you, express that concern. If you need more time, ask for it. If you would like help with something, ask for it. Don’t count on anyone else to fix something that only you can see needs attention.
10. Don’t Force It
Ultimately, at the end of the day, if you aren’t happy in your workplace, there may not be a reason to stay. If a workplace is a toxic environment, you do twice the amount of work as any of your coworkers, you truly don’t get paid enough, or any other deal-breaking scenario, don’t stay. You have no obligation to any company at the expense of your own health and happiness.
Melissa Schoenecker is a freelance writer and co-creator of the universe based in Venice, California. She received a Bachelor of Science Degree from the University of Wisconsin - Madison and a Master's Degree from the University of Santa Monica. She contributes to a number of blogs and online postings, but her best work can be found in her gratitude journal.