How to be happier in the workplace
By: Lorraine Hackett
Updated: 02 February 2018
You may love your job, think your colleagues are ace and your boss is the best.
Even with all of these things, your job can have its own set of challenges for your mental wellbeing.
We spend a lot of time at work, in any case, more than we do in our own homes and see our colleagues more than our loved ones.
So it’s very important that your workplace is good for your wellbeing. Spending most of your time in an environment that makes you chronically stressed or unhappy is just not healthy and can lead to more severe problems such as depression, anxiety or ill physical health.
While we may not be able to push deadlines, dramatically increase our salary, make our bosses any more reasonable, there are some small things you can do to make your workplace a healthier and happier place.
- Help create a healthy ethos
If you’re not happy with your work environment, speak out. I know this can be a lot easier said than done, especially if you have colleagues who seem to love drama and a boss who doesn’t consider your wellbeing to be ‘their problem’. Try to talk to your boss about creating a healthier environment and ethos in the workplace. There is no excuse to ignore the fact that employee wellbeing is a crucial part of any business now. If you need to talk to your boss’ language, countless studies have shown that happy employees are productive employees and just good for business in the long run. Why not suggest leading the way, with ideas such as free fruit and healthy snacks for staff, counselling support, or mindfulness sessions. MyMind provides an EAP programme called MyMind at Work, delivering talks and workshops and counselling packages for companies. These days, businesses can’t afford to look after their staff’s wellbeing.
- Change your mornings
If you start your mornings by repeatedly hitting the snooze button, before frantically running around trying to multitask and running out the door already late and frazzled, you could be setting yourself up for a day of stress. Starting the day off in the right way will have a positive impact on your mental wellbeing. Try to organise things the previous night, set out what clothes you plan to wear and even get up five minutes earlier squeeze in some quick meditation. A little planning can go a long way to a stress-free day.
- Maintain a work-life balance
All work and no play is never going to do your wellbeing any favours. If you find you are working around the clock, you may need to make adjustments and put boundaries in place. While some jobs demand longer hours than others, there may be ways to work around this, such as requesting to work from home or talking to your boss about unrealistic deadlines.
- Pat yourself on the back
Studies show that we retain negative information much more than positive, especially about ourselves. If we stumble at the start of a presentation, but the rest of it goes smoothly, our takeaway is more likely to be feelings of failure rather than success. Learning how to acknowledge your wins in work will make you feel more confident, and build self-esteem and a feeling of job satisfaction and progress. In turn, acknowledging a colleague’s wins can boost happiness levels and morale in the workplace. A simple way to track your progress is to make a checklist and tick off all the items you complete. This will help you feel more satisfied with all you have accomplished throughout the day.
- Learn New Skills
Doing the same thing day in and day out can grow tiresome, so try to change things up a bit and keep challenging yourself to learn new skills. Taking the time to learn new skills and take on new tasks at work can improve feelings of satisfaction and happiness. It can also keep you motivated and inspired, which can have a positive effect on your feelings of overall satisfaction and happiness.
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