7 Ways to Be Happier at Work

Do you feel dissatisfied at work? We review 7 tips to be happier at work according to experts.
7 Ways to Be Happier at Work

Last update: 14 June, 2023

Happiness at work is something that, fortunately, is far from being a simple fad. There’s more and more talk about the need to be happier at work, its benefits, and how to achieve it. Since it’s a substantial part of your life, job satisfaction is also related to greater life satisfaction.

There are many ways to assess happiness at work, although it’s generally done taking into account three factors: subjective, psychological, and social well-being. To this, we must also add financial well-being, which is, of course, an essential element when it comes to being happier at work. Despite this, our advice focuses on the three factors outlined and how you can achieve them.

7 tips to be happier at work

Evidence suggests that self-determination theory can be applied to work environments to achieve greater worker satisfaction. The theory suggests that the human being has three essential psychological needs to achieve psychological well-being: autonomy, competence and relationship.

Autonomy is associated with the voluntary and significant perception of one’s own behavior; competition with the efficient and effective nature of the actions; and the relationship with the ability to feel connected, appreciated, and understood by those around us. Based on these factors, we can establish 7 tips to be happier at work.

1. Create a circle of friendship with your colleagues

A study published in Frontiers in Psychology in 2020 found that workplace friendship translates into a greater source of joy, happiness, and interpersonal behavior.

Having friends at your workplace can be a source of motivation during the workday, as it helps you feel more comfortable in your daily activities. Indeed, it’s much more likely that you’ll perform better in the company of people you appreciate than with those you don’t know very well.

It isn’t necessary for your colleagues to become your best friends, it isn’t even necessary for the friendship to carry over outside of work. It’s a very positive thing if it does, but even if it doesn’t, creating a strong circle of friendship is one of the ways to be happier at work. A very useful piece of advice for those who work in person in offices.

2. Take small breaks during the day

You can be happier at work when you have free time.
Breaks, alone or in company, are very important in order to achieve a good work environment.

Experts have associated breaks throughout the day with a reduction in emotional exhaustion, a higher assessment of job satisfaction, and greater organizational citizenship behavior. Short breaks can be embraced as a strategy to be happier at work, and there are various ways to incorporate it.

It’s recommended to take 5-minute breaks every hour, and, if possible, to relate them to some type of physical movement. Taking a short walk, standing up and stretching, changing positions at your workstation, drinking water or eating a healthy snack away from your desk, and taking a short phone call are just a few things you can do in that time.

3. Set limits between your personal and work life

As we mentioned at the beginning, and as the evidence supports, well-being at work and well-being are interrelated. The relationship is bidirectional, so that when one is affected, so is the other.

If you don’t establish clear boundaries between work and your personal life, your personal life will end up being compromised, which sooner or later will have a negative impact on your job satisfaction.

4. Recognize your achievements

Researchers associate recognition of achievement with a lower chance of developing occupational burnout. In the same way, it can also boost self-esteem and increase personal achievements.

All this can lead to being happier at work, and an environment that doesn’t recognize work and professional achievements will lead to greater dissatisfaction.

Remembering and valuing your professional success and achievements can give you an incentive to continue reaping new ones in the future, as well as giving meaning to the effort you have put in in recent years. If you wish, you can establish a reward system to make it more tangible.

5. Upgrade your workspace

You can be happier at work by being organized.
Organization is essential in order to optimize performance and achieve happiness at work.

Multiple studies and research have associated the workplace with a higher assessment of happiness, satisfaction, and comfort during the workday. Certainly, working in an environment that you like, that adapts to your needs and that provides you with ergonomics can make a noticeable difference and help you to be happier at work.

You don’t have to make radical changes, even small things can benefit you.

Changing the view that you have right in front of you, adjusting the intensity of the light, including small decorations, incorporating a vase of flowers, changing your chair for a more comfortable one and other things can help the review of the day and its assignments to be seen in a more positive light.

6. Decorate with plants around

This is a tip that could have been included in the previous section, but its benefits mean it deserves a section of its own. Experts have found that exposure to natural elements can reduce the stress, anxiety, and depression associated with work environments. One way to increase your exposure to natural elements is to include plants near your workspace.

7. Regulate your expectations

Apart from this list of tips to help you to be happier at work, it’s always important to regulate the expectations that you have in this regard.

It’s impossible to be 100% satisfied at a work level, nor is it possible to be 100% satisfied on personal, interpersonal, and other levels. Your working day will have good, very good, and wonderful moments; but it’ll also have some that will demotivate you and even depress you.

Being aware of the latter is very important, as it prepares you to deal with the less pleasant times in your work environment. As you can see, applying all these tips doesn’t require a great effort, and its benefits are immediate in most cases. Keep using them and you’ll see the difference in your work environment.

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