Although the majority of Americans (51%) report that they are satisfied with their jobs, what does that mean for the other 49%? Considering that employee happiness can be directly tied to employee productivity, the quality of our work is affected by how you feel on any given day. This can become even more problematic during the winter months when Seasonal Depression is at its highest and our jobs are especially demanding with the start of a new year. So, what can you do at work to be happier and as a result, more productive?
Start the Day Off Right
How you start your day matters. In this study, researchers observed the moods and productivity of customer service representatives. Those who had positive interactions with customers were in better moods in the morning and went on to champion more productive days. So, do whatever you need to do before work to get yourself in this mindset. For some, it may be eating a full, nutritious breakfast. It is hard to stay focused if your stomach won’t stop growling.
For others, it may be taking a walk before work, or even walking for your commute to the office. Studies have shown that as little as 20 minutes of walking can leave you with a greater sense of positivity and energy – two things that can be likened to a happier start to your day and more productivity in the office. Even an act as simple as listening to your favorite music while enjoying a cup of coffee can shift your mood into a happier, more productive place.
Begin your day with whatever works for you and get your mind right. The day infinitely times harder when you show up to work with a sense of dread, rather than a smile.
Minimize Controllable Stresses
Stress is one thing that can bury a person’s happiness, which in turn shrinks productivity. Stress is a normal part of life and experienced by everyone; however, some have a better handle on stress-management than others. If you are stressed out before you even sit down at your desk, you are setting yourself up for a miserable day. We control the things we can control. If you are constantly barely on time to work, consider leaving about ten to fifteen minutes earlier. This extra time will ease your mind of tardiness as a result of unexpected delays along your commute, like traffic.
If you manage others, check-in with them in the mornings so you know exactly what they are doing. If you don’t, you may spend part of your day concerned with what others should be working on. Put this out of your mind by communicating early, so you can focus on your tasks for the day.
Take Care of Yourself
This one sounds so obvious but is often the most neglected by professionals of any field. We all tend to get caught up in our work. Often this is because we are proud of what we do, we want to be successful, it’s busy, or you may be short staffed. Whatever the reason, failure to take care of your personal needs will undoubtedly decrease your happiness and likely your productivity.
You are a person, not a machine. People need exercise, healthy foods, socialization, relationships, and sleep to reach their maximum potential. The time demanded of these things is often sacrificed in favor of more time in the office, working on the weekends, or company travel. But failure to address your basic needs will lead to more stress and feeling burnt out of your job.