Being unhappy at work has become a norm, often represented through sardonic humour and clichés like the ‘Monday blues’. In 2013, Gallup conducted an extensive study across 142 countries on employee engagement titled State of the Global Workplace. The findings revealed that only 13 percent of the workforce comprised of engaged employees, with the remaining either were not engaged or were actively disengaged.
However, there are measures which, as employees, we can take to improve our state of mind and morale at the office, and it is all about the simple basics.
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Make sure that you know where your work fits into your long-term plans. Keep your goals as a beacon to help you appreciate your current role. Focus on solutions at work rather than dwelling on the obstacles. Attend to personal matters, but leave them at home. Maintain constant communication with your peers, and work around the difficult personalities on the floor rather than trying to change them.
A lot of work stress comes from the perceived lack of time to complete tasks. As this becomes a chronic problem, work stress becomes a permanent issue and bad days outnumber the good. Managing your time is not as difficult as it may initially seem and needs a combination of discipline, routine and the ability to identify time-consuming situations and find workarounds.
Map out your daily productivity spikes and lows. For instance, if you tend to slow down post-lunch, then focus on making that hour more productive. Increasing your post-lunch productivity will distribute work more evenly for you. This, in turn, reduces those frantic sessions you fall into at the end of the day.
Organise your desk and workspace. Clutter adds to stress and is a detriment to efficient time management. According to a survey by retailer OfficeMax, more than 50 percent of respondents attributed clutter to their suffering motivation levels and that disorganisation impaired their state of mind, as reported by Forbes.
Hours hunched over a computer and hurried diets are detrimental to your well-being. Remember to take physical breaks from work, which may include a stroll outside the office building and stretching exercises. Your diet is also important, and poor practices like heavy lunches in the middle of the day will keep you longing for a nap when you should be prepping for that all-important afternoon meeting. Stay hydrated, eat nutritious food and indulge in healthy snacking by replacing sugary and carb-heavy food with fresh fruits and nuts.
Create a physical workspace that reminds you of the things you like. Whether it is a collage of family pictures, your favourite pop culture merchandise or posters of a dream destination, a personalised workspace creates a comfort zone and helps you feel relaxed while you attend to your duties.
Make friends at work. According to Alexander Kjerulf, an author and speaker on workplace morale, employees who have friendly workplace associations are happier at work, as stated by Criminal Watch Dog. Socialisation is an important aspect of a healthy lifestyle, so find co-workers with whom you connect with on personal levels.
Acting on these key workplace areas will help you take control of your office life. Work towards a professional life that is in harmony with who you are rather than a long deviation from your daily routine. This will increase your engagement and lift your morale throughout the day while having an overall positive effect on your lifestyle.
Being happy at work not only does well for your well-being, but also helps you professionally. As Alexander Kjerulf also said, people who are content at their workplace tend to be more productive, more creative, and more successful overall.