We spend a huge portion of our lives at work. You may look forward to going to work or you may spend your weeks counting down until the weekend. No matter what your attitude is toward your job, there are several things you can do to potentially boost your happiness. From upgrading your wardrobe to using office perks, here are 10 things you can do to be happier at work.
1. Prioritize Your Comfort
One thing you can do to improve your day at work is to prioritize your comfort. Ill-fitting shoes, a rock-hard desk chair, or a freezing office could all put a damper on your day. Pay attention to what bothers you throughout the day and make steps toward making yourself more comfortable. Better-fitting scrub pants, a chair with lower back support, shoes with better cushioning – there are many small changes you can make that can have a big impact on your mood and even your health.
2. Spruce Up Your Workspace
Your workspace might be a cubicle, a home office, or a locker. There are small and large tweaks you can make to your space based on the limitations of your space and your company’s rules. If you have a home office, maybe you can apply a fresh coat of wall paint and invest in a new desk chair. If you work in a cubicle, maybe you can add pictures to your walls and get a quiet desk fan. Pictures and trinkets can be a great way to personalize a small space and make it feel like your own.
3. Nourish Your Body
Sometimes it’s easy to work all day and realize you haven’t had a snack, drank your water, or gotten up from your chair. This can make you feel exhausted, hungry, thirsty, stiff, sore, and burnt out. Make the effort to drink lots of water, eat healthy snacks, and get up every once and a while to stretch and walk around a little bit to nourish your mind and your body.
4. Upgrade Your Work Wardrobe
A wardrobe refresh could be just what you need to feel a little more confident and happy at work. Whether it’s a suit or quality scrubs, well-fitting clothing made of high-quality materials can make you feel better as you move through your day. Go through your existing clothes and donate what no longer works for you. Then, make a list of what you need to dress properly for your occupation.
5. Take Your Lunch Break
This one may seem simple but it’s something many people don’t do. Whether you have a flexible work schedule or you just have a lot on your plate, there are a few reasons why you might work through your lunch. Make an effort to take your full lunch break. Pack a lunch, plan days to go grab lunch with coworkers, or set aside time to read and enjoy a snack during the middle of the day. Studies even support the importance of breaks at work.
6. Ask for Help
Another way to be happier at work is to ask for help when you need it. Some people will avoid asking for support if they’re going after a promotion, have a difficult boss, know resources are slim, or feel like it’s a sign of failure. However, asking for help can show that you’re conscious of your bandwidth, and you can ask for the help you need to get the job done right. If you constantly feel overworked, it might be time for a larger conversation with your boss about your time and allocation.
7. Set Personal Goals
If your job feels monotonous to you, consider setting some personal work goals. This could be a new side project, a quota, a deadline, a presentation, or another accomplishment. Establish a goal that won’t be easy but will be possible. Making and hitting goals can help you challenge yourself and feel a renewed sense of confidence. You may even want to share your goals with your manager or coworkers to help hold yourself accountable.
8. Reward Yourself
Aside from earning your paycheck, you can also give yourself additional rewards to help boost your work-related happiness. If you create and hit goals as mentioned above, get yourself a small gift or treat for each accomplishment. It can be as simple as a cup of coffee from your favorite cafe or a brand-new designer bag for work. Be reasonable about your rewards to ensure they are still a novelty.
9. Take Advantage of Office Perks
Many workplaces have perks for their employees. Check with your HR department about what’s available to you or look through your employee handbook. Gym memberships and subscriptions are a great option where you can hit the gym or participate in an online class for free. Or, you may be able to get tuition reimbursement to take classes outside of work and pursue a degree you’ve always dreamed of. Additional perks include unlimited PTO, mental health days, free subscriptions, free coffee and snacks, vaccine clinics, and much more.
10. Seek a Healthy Work-Life Balance
One major change you can make to be happier at work is to achieve a work-life balance. This will give you a clear separation between your job and your family or home life, allowing you to leave work at work and fully enjoy your personal life when you’re home. Take a look at things like time off and how many hours you’re working. If you’re never taking time off and always working overtime, you may be focusing too much on work. Your personal life could also need attention if you’re showing up late to work, taking personal calls all day, and missing deadlines because you’re consumed with events at home.
You may be in a position where you aren’t happy at work, but you can’t afford to quit or change jobs. Before making a big change, consider different tricks, like those listed above, to improve your working experience. You never know what small change could have a big impact on your work week.