Happiness at work: everyone wants it. But can everyone get it? Believe it or not, the answer is “yes.” Even if you’re not working your dream job, there are some things you can do to be happy wherever you are. Just remember the two R’s:relationships and results.
People are happier at work when they feel connected to their coworkers.
According toBarbara Fredrickson, author of Love 2.0, “Listening and supporting your co-workers can renew your energy, give you confidence and build resources to face tough problems. Feelings of connections and camaraderie spark resilience and can create a more positive work climate.”
Before you stop reading and decide you must be resigned to unhappiness because Linda down the hall is annoying, think about trying a few things to develop a rapport.
Fredrickson suggests that eye contact is one crucial way to begin connecting with co-workers. “New scientific evidence suggests that if you don’t make direct eye contact with a co-worker, you’re at a distinct disadvantage in trying to figure out what she really feels or means,” she says. “Accessing this emotion makes you wiser. You become more accurate, more attuned and less gullible. You intuitively grasp her intentions. It informs your next move.”
And if you work virtually, try picking up the phone to speak with a co-worker, rather than sending that e-mail. Fredrickson says that like eye contact, voices carry emotional info that can help you connect.
In a world where emails and text dominate communication, it’s easy to feel like you just don’t have time to interact with your co-workers. But connections can be implemented into daily routine: saying good morning, taking breaks together, or random acts of workplace kindness, like bringing a co-worker a cup of coffee, can help form relationships. And relationships are key to workplace happiness.
Results are not (necessarily) about a big promotion or an end-of-year bonus. Results are everyday occurrences that remind you that you’re playing an important role in your job. How can you pinpoint results in a way that will increase your happiness at work?
Offer and receive praise and recognition and celebrate success. Foster an environment at the office where people acknowledge good work. Fredrickson says that eliminating needless negativity—second-guessing or co-worker resentment—is vital for workplace happiness. Instead of dwelling on mistakes, focus on what IS going right for you. And if you don’t have something good going on in your life, celebrate someone else’s good fortune.
Measuring success is a great way to refocus your efforts on the quality of your work and not just on logging hours. Doing work you can be proud of is fundamental to happiness on the job.
HKM employment attorneys are happy to help you get the most out of your job. If you have any legal questions, contact a lawyer today.