27 September 2023

Five ways to find more joy at work

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Mel Kettle* says finding happiness at work makes people easier to work with.

When we are happy we are healthier, more focused, have greater creativity and better problem solving skills.

We are also more likely to have friendships with other employees, reducing feelings of loneliness at work.

When we are unhappy and disengaged, we are no fun to work with.

Our moods and emotions impact us and those around us.

The good news is that happiness is contagious.

So, if you are feeling glum, spend some time with happy people, as this will positively impact your mood.

So how do we find happiness and joy at work?

  1. Look for the meaning in your work

Understanding your job and how your role contributes to the success of your team or organisation is essential to finding joy at work.

Research has found that employees who believe their “company makes a positive societal contribution” and who feel “personally committed to achieving the company’s vision and strategy” experienced the most joy at work.

If you’re unsure of your organisation’s purpose or why you’re doing what you’re doing, talk to your boss.

If you’re looking at a new job in an organisation you don’t know a lot about, go online and read the company’s annual report, the about section on its website, and the profiles of the senior executive on LinkedIn.

This will give you a good understanding of the company purpose and values, and help you decide if they are good fit with what you stand for.

  1. Focus on your professional growth and try new things

When you learn new things, you create opportunities for personal and professional growth, which can lead to greater happiness and a sense of achievement and fulfillment.

Ask your employer if there are opportunities for formal professional development, such as training or development programs.

Or if you can be given tasks or projects that allow you to learn new skills, have diverse experiences or provide new perspectives.

Professional growth doesn’t always need to be employer-driven.

You could also join your professional association and attend their events, watch TED talks or read relevant industry publications.

  1. Find a work bestie

People who have a best friend at work are more likely to be happier and healthier.

Research by Gallup has repeatedly shown a solid link between having a best friend at work and greater productivity and performance.

Having a work bestie helps you feel like you belong at work, as you will have someone to laugh with, go for coffee with and talk about the good, the bad and the ugly bits with.

  1. Be grateful

When life is going well, gratitude allows us to celebrate and amplify our positivity and our success.

When life is difficult, gratitude can help us through challenging times.

Practicing gratitude for even thirty seconds each day can reduce your stress hormones, increase oxygen flow to your body and make you happier.

If you’re wondering how to infuse gratitude into your day, why not start by saying thank you to your colleagues.

  1. Do something you love every day

Seeking joy should be a guiding principle for us all.

Knowing what brings you joy and doing some of these activities every day will recharge your personal batteries and increase your energy.

When we do things that we love, we automatically feel happier.

It can sometimes be hard to find the time to take the time to do something just for us, but it’s worth it, even if it’s only for five minutes a day.

It can sometimes feel like joy is beyond the realm of possibility, especially if you feel like you are on a hamster wheel going around and around in circles.

However, taking the time to think about what makes you happy, and then taking the necessary action, is well worth it.

*Mel Kettle, author of Fully Connected, is an internationally recognised expert at fully connected leadership and communication. She is the founder of the award-winning menopause blog, Just as Juicy and host of podcast This Connected Life. Visit www.melkettle.com

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