Best Practices in HR

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Robyn Whalen
  September 23, 2017

12 Foolproof Tips for Getting (And Staying!) Happy At Work

Unfortunately, many Americans aren’t happy at work. According to a recent Gallup survey, as summarized by CBS Moneywatch, of America’s 100 million full-time employees, 51% aren’t engaged at work – meaning they feel no real connection to their jobs and tend to do the bare minimum. Another 16% reported being “actively disengaged,” meaning they resent their jobs and drag down office morale as a result.

Feeling unhappy at work leads to poor productivity, concentration, and overall work performance. Even worse, feeling unhappy for 40 hours a week will have a negative impact on your health and personal life. If you struggle to feel happy during the workday, try out some of these tips to boost your mood and enjoy your job more:

Practice gratitude

Even if you aren’t particularly happy in your current role, chances are there is something at your company you are grateful for. Maybe you have a co-worker that always cheers you up, a client that makes you laugh, or free healthy snacks in the breakroom. Find something that you’re thankful for. Practicing gratitude will help you become more optimistic and value the positive aspects of your job.

Make a friend

Everyone needs a support system. A work BFF will always make spending time at the office more enjoyable. If you currently don’t have close relationships with your colleagues, make an effort to form a couple of friendships. Attend company outings and happy hours and accept any invitations from co-workers. Once you find a work buddy, work will instantly become more fun and satisfying.

Personalize your space

Create your own nest. Add personal touches to your desk – a few of your favorite pictures, a couple of plants, or some memorabilia. If workplace stress is the culprit behind your unhappiness, creating your personal space is a great way to make yourself as comfortable and relaxed as possible.

Smile more

Smile and laugh your way to happiness! Believe it or not, your facial expressions influence your mood. Smiling can help reduce stress and boost your mood by causing your brain to produce some serotonin. Forcing a smile or giving yourself more opportunities to laugh will instantly help you feel more positive.

Avoid negativity

As difficult as it might be, try to avoid office gossip and negative talk. Being surrounded by negative co-workers is a one-way ticket to feeling insecure and unhappy with your job. Politely excuse yourself when your colleagues start gossiping and avoid negativity like the plague! Spend your time with more positive and upbeat colleagues.

Use your vacation days 

Your vacation days are so important. Take advantage of your PTO to focus on your wellness and take care of yourself. All work and no play leads to a tremendous amount of built-up stress. Taking a much-needed vacation is vital to your personal – and professional – happiness.

Leave personal problems at home

Although it might be difficult, leave any personal problems at home. Bringing these negative feelings and attitudes with you to the office is a recipe for a crappy workday. You’ll feel distracted, unproductive, and bring down the mood of your colleagues. If you need help with any issues at home, speak to someone in your HR department about any counseling services that are offered.

Help a co-worker

Helping out a co-worker will make you happy! Many studies have shown the mental health benefits of helping others – it causes your brain to produce feel-good chemicals. Make it a daily effort to help out a colleague once a day. You’ll instantly be in a better mood, and your co-workers will definitely start to appreciate you even more!

Maintain healthy habits

The key to feeling good at work is to maintain healthy habits. Eat foods that will boost your mood, stay hydrated, and keep active throughout the workday. Before coming to work, make sure you get enough sleep and squeeze in a morning workout. Staying healthy and active will keep you feeling happy, productive, and energized all day long.

Reward yourself

Always reward yourself for a job well done. Set some personal goals that you wish to accomplish at work and treat yourself when you fulfill them. Completing tedious work tasks will become more enjoyable when you have something to look forward to. Buy yourself a new workout outfit, indulge in a professional massage, or treat you and your significant other to a night out.

Find your sense of purpose

Maybe you’re feeling unhappy with your job because you’ve lost your sense of purpose and meaning. Remind yourself of your value and the impact your role has on your company and clients. Determine the “why” behind what you do. Remind yourself that your role is helping others in some way and you are making a difference.

End on a positive note

Always end the workday on a positive note. Take time to reflect on the good moments of the day or what you did well. Focusing on the positive will help you leave the office feeling accomplished and happy with your work. It’ll be much easier to enjoy your time at work if you focus on the good rather than the bad.

When all else fails, know when to move on from your job. If you’ve made a sincere effort to find happiness in your role, but just aren’t able to, consider that this job isn’t for you. Holding on to a job that stresses you out and emotionally drains you is extremely unhealthy.

Fortunately, for the most part, getting happy and staying happy at your job is completely possible. Make an effort to stay positive, maintain healthy habits, make a friend, and rediscover your purpose. You’ll feel happier in no time!

How do you stay happy at work? Let us know below!

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