Did you realize that the majority of adults will spend one-third of their lives at work? This isn’t limited to just the United States. That’s the average for around the entire world. Since we spend so much of our time contributing to the success of the companies we work for, doesn’t it make sense to put forth the effort to make that experience an enjoyable one?
Rather than just passively going through the motions day in and out, there are a few steps you can take to help keep yourself happy while at work. Just as staying on top of even the most seemingly minor details is essential to doing any job safely, efficiently, and effectively, making small efforts here and there can drastically affect your outlook each time you clock in for the day.
Love what you do.
It almost goes without saying — but we’re saying it anyway — that when you have a passion for your job, whether you’re in the field or holding down the fort back at the office, you are inherently happier. Work feels like less of a chore and more like you’re working toward a personal goal.
This may not seem like it would rank high on the list of things that keep a person happy at work, but think about it. Unnecessary clutter, discombobulated inboxes, and a general feeling of chaos permeating your workspace can make each moment utterly stressful. We’ve spoken about the importance of keeping organized before. By minimizing the disorder, you’re able to accomplish tasks faster, keep on track, and it also helps eliminate the constant worry that comes when you’re so frazzled, it’s impossible to maintain any peace of mind.
Personalize your space.
If you work in a setting where you have your own dedicated space, bring in some personal effects to make that otherwise uninspired workspace a little homier. This could be a couple of photos or just some décor that helps transform your corner of the office into something more comfortable, welcoming, and inviting.
Leave personal drama at home.
We get it. Everyone has a life outside of work. And that life often has its own sets of real problems that can come up. While it can be difficult (or sometimes impossible) to completely forget about your worries, it’s important not to let them keep you bogged down while at work. It’s sort of like how you do your best to leave work behind when you go home, except the other way around.
It might seem like weird advice when it comes to the workplace, but if you have a particularly sedentary job, it’s important to get up and move around from time to time. Get that blood flowing. Any form of exercise, even if it’s just a lap or two around the office a couple of times a day, releases endorphins that directly contribute to feelings of happiness.
So many Americans throw away vacation days every year. Reasons for the lack of use vary from feelings of guilt to anxiety about work piling up while away. But any healthy work environment actively encourages everyone to use their allotted time. Taking regular breaks from work — breaks in which you are truly disconnected from the happenings of the office — is important to your mental wellbeing. Going on vacation recharges you and improves both your mood in the office and your job performance.
Going to work is a fact of life that is unavoidable for most of us. But by taking a few extra steps to change your approach, you can help to shape it into something that you truly enjoy doing each and every day.
Joshua Pramis is a writer and editor with an affinity for all things travel, tech, and food. His work has appeared on Travel + Leisure, Conde Nast Traveler, Digital Trends, and the Daily Meal, among other outlets. When he's not at home canoodling with his cats (which is typical), you'll find him running races, exploring new locales, and trying out different food venues in St Petersburg, Florida.