We spend most of our waking hours at our workplace, so, if we don’t manage to be happy there, we probably won’t manage to be happy at all!
If you planned your career-path well in advance, and didn’t just go with the flow, chances are that you are in a job that fits in with your interests and goals. Most of us do choose a vocation that we are passionate about, however, there are many external circumstances we commonly face at the workplace, which come in the way of our happiness there. We often have little control over these situations – Overly authoritarian bosses, tight work deadlines, difficult and demanding clients, office politics created by insecure colleagues, insufficient pay packages, favouritism and unfair apportionment of work, are some common problems people face at work. Additionally, long working hours makes it difficult to allot time for our own personal hobbies – reading, exercise and the like. Working mothers often feel guilty about time spent away from their children. These factors – especially when multiple ones come into play – tend to eventually take a grave toll on our mental and physical health. So, how do we get happy and remain happy at work?
Here are a few pointers:
1) Make Friends at the Workplace: With so many hours being spent with colleagues, it works wonders for our mental state if we develop camaraderie with at least some of them. It’s easy to sift out likeminded people. So, go ahead and develop bonds. It will make the long work-hours and the other stresses easier to endure.
2) Prioritise Work: Sometimes, at the workplace, we have to handle many different roles, often coordinating many different departments. Having an up-to-date “TO DO” list which is numbered according to urgency can significantly reduce workload stress.
3) Never Shun Responsibilities But Be Vocal About Unrealistic Expectations:It is better to convey to bosses and colleagues what tasks you are not in a position to handle at a given time, rather than lead them to believe that you will carry out a task that you are unlikely to be able to. Set mutually agreeable deadlines, and make every effort to stick to them, even if it means working overtime sometimes. This way, work will almost always be manageable.
4) Be a Team Player: All of us feel happy when our accomplishments gets recognised, however, it’s very important to be a team player, and not keep seeking personal recognition. Our contributions and value in the workplace usually comes through automatically, and most often, nothing conveys these more than when we are team-players for the larger good of the organisation. Make sure you lend a helping hand to colleagues who are in a bind, if you can. This will help you gain the respect of others in your workplace, and they in turn, will help you out when you need help.
5) Be Confident in Your Abilities: Ifyou are not confident about your abilities, it will come through in your interactions with colleagues and clientele, and you will not be able to gain their confidence. If you feel you have some areas of weakness, work on them by asking questions, learning, practicing and mastering everything that fits into your job profile and beyond.
6) Be a Master of Your Own Trade, But Also Learn About All Other Roles and Functions: Some of us have very clearly defined roles in the workplace, and for others, the lines are more blurred. Either way, it always helps to know the organisation you work for inside and out. Make it a point to know who carries out what role, and what the job more-or-less entails – This will send a message of your being cued-in on others, and will help you develop a lot of respect among peers and seniors. Moreover, when you are faced with client-queries that are outside your role, you will know the right people to turn to for immediate answers.
7) Ask for Feedback: Most professional organisations have work appraisal processes in place. However, this is usually a formal, yearly affair. Ask for feedback from bosses every once in a while, when projects are done with and still fresh in their minds. This practice will help you grow, keep bosses happy with you, and you happy in turn.
8) Undertake Self Assessment and Introspection in the Face of Conflict: If you are facing some conflict at work, always be open to the other person’s point-of-view, and do a fair self-evaluation to ascertain whether the other side has some just cause for a grievance. If you think you have done something wrong, take the necessary steps to sort out angst and move on quickly.
9) Never Get Involved With Petty Office Politics: Don’t get involved with personal issues between others. Let people sort out their own personal issues. Never gossip about colleagues.
10) Have Well Balanced Meals: Well-balanced meals do wonders in regulating our moods and keeping us happy.
11) Have a Well Rounded-Life:: At least when you have a little time to yourself, like on the weekends, make sure you rest, spend time with family and friends, and take in some recreational activities.
12) Take Small & Breaks From Work: Take regular short breaks from work. Get up and walk around the office every once in a while. Call your kids, if they are on your mind. Make sure you take at least one annual vacation to any place that you can afford. Most people who practice this get back to work rejuvenated and refreshed.
13) Learn to Laugh, Especially at Yourself: Peoplewho don’t take themselves too seriously are always the happiest people. We all make mistakes sometimes. The important thing is to learn from our mistakes, and not make the same ones over and over again. If you’ve faced some failure, but you’re sure you put in your best efforts and had the best intensions, rise up again quickly, take responsibility, shake off the experience, and don’t forget to laugh after all is said and done!
Everyone likes people who can see humour in difficult situations, so don’t be afraid to belt out the one-liners every once in a while, as long as you’re not making anyone else the butt of your jokes.
Make a list of everything that you feel is going wrong at work. Strategise on what the best way is to deal with all of these issues. Then – take quick action. And, above all, decide to be happy, and you will somehow manage to be happy, in spite of all the odds that may be stacked up against you.
Cheers to your happiness!