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10 ways to be happy at work

Last updated on: October 03, 2013 22:42 IST

10 ways to be happy at work

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Lalit Jain

Happier people not only are healthier but are also more creative, more productive, better to work with and needless to say more successful, believes Lalit Jain, Director & Co-Founder annectos Rewards & Retail (P) Ltd.

Evidence and research has shown that happier workplaces bring significant benefits, both for the people who work there and crucially for organisations too.

Happier people are not only healthier but are also more creative, more productive, better to work with and, needless to say, more successful.

Working for some companies today is considered very cool. These companies are known to be some of the world’s best employers -- free food, time devoted to personal projects, free transportation etc. Nothing wrong with all this. However, for a moment sit back and think what are the actual factors that will help you find happiness at work.

1. Choose to be happy

Happiness is a state of mind. You might have heard that several times, and it is stated so many times because it is true.

You can choose to be happy at work – it’s that simple. Not everyone in the world can be employed by the best employers.

So think positively about your work. Dwell on the aspects of work that you like. Avoid negative people and gossip. Your choices at work largely define your experience. You can choose to be happy at work.


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2. Take responsibility for knowing what's happening at work

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People often complain that they are not ‘informed’ or are not provided the information about what is happening with their company, their department, or their co-workers. Passively they wait for people to fill them with knowledge or information.

Seek out the information you believe you need to be effective. Develop an information network and use it when required to improve your efficiency.

Assertively schedule a meeting with your boss and ask questions to learn.

You are in charge of the information you receive.


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3. Don't attribute to malice what might be a genuine mistake

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For instance, if your co-worker has been ignoring your e-mails, you might get angry at what seems like disregard or disrespect. If you approach him/her from that stance, the conversation is most likely to be very negative.

Work around and approach this situation without making the assumption that it might be deliberate -- like maybe your e-mails are not getting past the spam filter etc.

Even when people are really at fault, starting with the assumption that they are not to blame will make conversations go better.

 


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4. Thank people

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If someone has made your life easier at work, connected you with a helpful contact or simply been pleasant to you, tell them!

Openly appreciating your colleagues can strengthen your workplace relationships, improve the way people see you and make you genuinely more appreciative of where you work and the people you work with.


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5. Make commitments you can keep

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One of the serious causes of work stress and unhappiness is failing to keep commitments.

Many people spend time making excuses for failing to keep a commitment, than they do performing the tasks assigned.

Create a system and be organised. Access your ability to complete a requested commitment. Do not volunteer if you don’t have time.

If workload is exceeding your available time and energy, make a comprehensive plan to ask the boss for help and resources.

 


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6. Practice professional courage

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Most people like to avoid conflict. Sometimes the reason to want to avoid is also because most people are not trained to participate in meaningful conflict, so you likely think of conflict as scary harmful and hurtful.

Conflict is not always negative. Handled well it can actually help you serve customers and create successful products.


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7. Know your bottom line

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All jobs have their share of frustrations. But before you get focused on them, it helps to get clarity in your mind as to what is your bottom line -- i.e. what things matter to you the most and what are the tradeoffs you are willing to make or not make.

For instance, maybe you hate your manager but love the fact that you can walk to your workplace. You’d rather keep that commute even if it means your manager is a part of that deal. Or maybe you are okay with a lower salary because you get to do work that fascinates you.

Getting clear about what matters to you the most will help you keep focussed on what you care most about, and prevent you from getting side tracked.

 


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8. Make friends

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One of the key questions asked in a recent employee research was -- Do you have a best friend at work?

Liking and enjoying time with your co-workers are hallmarks of a positive, happy work experience. Take time to get to know them. You might actually like them and enjoy their company.

Your network provides support, resources, sharing, and caring.


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9. Ask for feedback

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Have you made statements such as, "My boss never gives me any feedback, so I never know how I'm doing.”

Face it, you really know exactly how you're doing. Especially if you feel positively about your performance, you just want to hear her/him acknowledge you. If you're not positive about your work, think about improving and making a sincere contribution.

Then, ask your boss for feedback. Tell her/him you'd really like to hear he/his assessment of your work.

Talk to your customers, too; if you're serving them well, their feedback is affirming. You are responsible for your own development.

 


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10. Do something you love every single day

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Take a look at the work you do. Sit down and think about the things you love to do and what you are really skilled at.

If you do something you love and enjoy doing every single day, your job will not seem so bad.


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