We just celebrated Labor Day, when we take the day off to relax and honor the hard work we do all year ‘round. But you shouldn’t have to take a day off work to enjoy yourself. Making work your happy place can go a long way towards improving your health and well-being. In fact, happiness in the workplace has been proven to increase employee engagement, which boosts productivity. And who doesn’t want to be happier, more engaged and more productive?
According to a recent Gallup poll, 70% of workers either hate their job or feel completely disengaged at work. But we can take steps every day to make our workplace more enjoyable. Here are three tips:
Create your best physical environment
If you’re feeling down at your desk, a simple change to your physical environment can make a big difference. According to the American Psychological Association, an office with no decorations is a toxic space. It’s important to spice up your desk with items that are important to you and that bring you joy, like a colorful painting or a picture of your favorite vacation spot. Adding a houseplant to the mix can boost productivity by 15 percent while improving memory retention and performance. Spending time near a window also boosts mood, lowers stress and makes workers feel more connected to the outside world, according to a study by the European Agency for Safety and Health at Work.
Take time for yourself
A recent study by Staples found that even though 66 percent of workers spend more than 8 hours a day in the office, more than 25 percent of them never take breaks. Even if you’re slammed with work, you should never feel guilty for taking a break during the workday. In fact, the best time to take a break may be when you’re the busiest because breaks keep us focused and help us retain information, make connections and reevaluate our goals. Psychologist Shilagh Mirgain suggests meditating for five minutes at work to de-stress. And it’s not as daunting as it sounds: Guided videos can help you focus on your breath to stop your mind from wandering.
Socialize with coworkers
In the U.S., workers today are less likely to have friends in the workplace than they were in the past. But it’s important to create bonds at work. According to a recent survey, 72 percent of employees who have a best friend at work are satisfied with their jobs. The best way to form relationships in the office is to be open and honest. According to research psychologist Robert Epstein, vulnerability is important for emotional bonding and without it, relationships feel meaningless. You can help build relationships in your office by planning social breaks, team lunches and fun events.
How do you stay happy at work? Share your tips in the comments section.