by Ben Davies
You spend 40 hours a week at work. If 39 of those hours (the hour before you leave on Friday is generally considered to be the happiest time of the working week) are spent in abject misery, something needs to change. You have three choices: 1. Change your job, 2. Carry on in abject misery, or 3. Change your attitude. Option 1 is covered in great detail by other articles on this site. Option 2 is depressing. Option 3 is the most practical and realistic - here's how to do it.
The root cause
Your negative attitude at work may be a recent thing, or it may have been going on for years. Equally, you might constantly feel that you are unhappy at work, or it could be a feeling that comes and goes. Either way, you have to tackle the problem.
Being negative at work affects your performance, the ambience of your workplace (for you and others), and can even impact your life outside of work. On the other hand, being realistically happy and positive will allow you to enjoy your job, improve your relationships with others and help you to get the most out of life
Problems on the job
It's likely that the problem begins with your job, not with your attitude. There's something about your work that you don't enjoy - whether it's your colleagues or your workload or something else. However, in order to conquer the negative feelings, you need to focus on the positive. That may be generic advice but it is effective. What do/did you enjoy about your job or everyday working life? Try to focus on those things and forget about the negative. You can also do your best to increase the things you enjoy in your job and lessen the tiresome tasks.
Discuss your duties with your manager and see what can be changed to improve things. If the problem is that your workload is too heavy, consider delegating tasks to others. Talk to your superiors about the amount of work you have - they may be able to reduce it, give you more time in which to complete certain duties, or you could even be in line for a pay rise or promotion if you can prove that you what you are doing deserves it.
You will find that your attitude and the enjoyment you get from working improve if you are pursuing something. What are your goals? Do you have ambitions to move on to greater things? Trying to attain to something new will increase the fulfilment you get from your job and therefore better your attitude in everyday life. Training courses and open study programs are designed to fit in with your working life and can make your job more rewarding and even lead to new career paths.
Relationships with others
Clear communication is another vital factor in staying positive at work. Do you make the effort to talk to your managers and colleagues? The very least that you have in common with them is that you work at the same place in the same or a similar job. Trying to improve your working relationships is a definite way to being happier at work.
Organising or taking part in social activities with your colleagues can improve morale at work for others as well as yourself. Even something as simple as having lunch with your colleagues, or going for a drink after work can be of benefit. It might be particularly effective to arrange some social activity for the middle of the week. This gives you something to focus on and look forward to. It's quite common for colleagues to play some sports together after work - give it a try at your company by arranging for a friendly game of badminton, tennis or the like. The exercise and good company will no doubt help to improve your relationships at work.
Problems outside of work
If you're feeling negative at work, it probably affects your life outside of work too. Conversely, improving your attitude to work can benefit your personal life. What can you do to make things better?
Problems outside of work may be affecting your attitude at work. If you can solve personal problems your feelings about your job will also improve. If solving those problems isn't realistic, leaving behind personal issues when you come to work allows you to give your best to your employer and can give you some respite from the challenges facing you outside. Forgetting about your problems while working is easier said than done, certainly, but it will make your everyday life more positive.
Take a holiday
Another possibility is that the constant routine of work has jaded you. When was the last time you took a break? Arranging for a long weekend can be very refreshing, or, better yet, take a whole week off. Taking a break from work doesn't necessarily mean you have to go away somewhere. The change in routine and the extra time to relax can help you to afterwards return to work with a fresh perspective.
How your employer can help
Employers and managers also have a part to play in this matter. If your workforce is unhappy, it is probably not as productive as it could be. What is causing the low morale? It could be something as simple as the work place itself. As someone with responsibility, you have to do all you can to make the work environment a positive one. This doesn't involve anything too taxing. Ensure that your staff members are happy with the office or workspace. Some minor improvements, such as better lighting, more comfortable chairs, or a supply of tea and coffee, may improve things for everyone and thus alter the mood.
In summary, staying happy at work improves your life in and out of the job. Focusing on positive things, decreasing the negative parts of your job, talking to your colleagues and enjoying your personal life are all vital if you want to stay positive at work.
How to be happy in your everyday work:
- Don't focus on negative things
- Have goals that you are working towards
- Talk to managers and co-workers and maintain good working relationships
- Take a few days off
- Solve problems outside work - how you feel outside of work affects how you feel at work and vice versa.