Since we spend most of our waking hours at work, how we feel during that time really has an impact on our overall well-being. Our professional and personal lives are not separate from each other and we cannot switch our mood like a light switch. If we are miserable for 8+ hours every day, chances are we feel drained and down in our free time, as well.
When it comes to happiness and well-being at work, both your employer and you as the employee are responsible for it. Your employer is responsible for providing a solid foundation for employee well-being: a healthy organizational culture and workplace policies, good leadership, fair employee compensation, and so on. If the organization you work for has a chronically toxic culture or non-people-focused management, there is very little that an individual employee can do. In those situations, being responsible for your own happiness and well-being usually means finding a new job.
However, if you work for a company that really cares about employees and provides you with that healthy foundation, you as an employee are responsible for building your own happiness on it and making the workplace better for you and your colleagues.
Do More of What Makes You Happy
When we do work that we are good at and we enjoy, we are happier than if we only worked for the paycheck. And when we are happy, we are also more productive which means that it is your employer’s best interest to make sure that you enjoy your job. While your supervisor might have an idea of what your strengths are, they are not going to know what you really love doing or where you hope to grow in the future, unless you tell them.
Therefore, speak with your supervisor and tell them where do you think you could help the organization the most. Are there some specific tasks that you enjoy in your role and would like to focus on those even more? Or is there maybe another role in the organization where you could use your strengths better? A good leader in a good organization will help you either to design your role so that it fits better with your strengths and interests or encourage you to discover other opportunities that suit you better, even if that meant moving to a different team.
Focus on the Positives Rather than the Negatives
Have you ever thought about buying new shoes and found yourself paying attention to what people wear in their feet wherever you go? Indeed, whatever we focus on is what we will see. If we focus on the faults at the workplace, chances are we start to feel unhappy. However, if we focus on the things we like and appreciate, such as interesting projects, nice coworkers, and a flexible working schedule, the fact that you can only bring your puppy to the office once a week starts to have less importance.
The truth is, no employer is perfect. Every organization has their issues that they need to improve on. As an employee, you are responsible for deciding which faults you are willing to live with. You can also make these faults less important by putting your energy and focus on the things that you do enjoy about your job and the company you work for.
Obviously, there are things such as a toxic environment, bullying, or other fundamental issues caused by poor leadership that impact our well-being so much that they are not worth trying to deal with. If this is the case, your only option might be to start job hunting. But as long as your employer provides you with a solid foundation, it is your responsibility to build your own happiness on it.
What makes YOU happy at work? We’d love to hear! Tell us in the comment section below or send us note through our contact form.