The average adult spends around a third of their adult life in the office. This is a monumental amount of time, yet so many people are unhappy with their work situation. Some are overly stressed or have bad relationships with their coworkers. Others are stuck in careers that don’t align with their values or don’t earn them enough money to live comfortably.
Whatever your reasons for not enjoying your job, something has to change. It is unsustainable to live your whole life devoting your time and energy to something that doesn’t make you happy. And despite what you may think, there are ways to change your situation. You can learn to love your job, or remove the negative triggers that are getting in the way of your happiness. If you don’t do something about it, your mental and physical health will suffer. And before you know it, you have reached retirement age and spent a huge portion of your life in an unfulfilling occupation.
So what can you do to be happier at work? Here are five tips to help you.
Improve your work-life balance
Work is not the only thing in your life. You have family, friends, hobbies, and interests that reward you and bring meaning to your existence. Let these take center stage instead of your job. If you don’t enjoy your work, find a way to have more balance between your personal and professional lives. Ask your boss if you can work from home more often, so you can spend less time commuting. Or maybe flexible hours are an option. Try to switch off whenever you leave the office, and set firm boundaries. Don’t answer emails out of business hours and try to focus on yourself in your free time.
If work is making you stressed, try to remove the source of this anxiety. Maybe your workload is too much. Ask your boss if they can help you lighten your load. If people at work are impacting your mental health, try to talk to them and improve your relationship. Once your stress levels decrease, you will feel happier at work.
Our relationships are one of the most important things in our life. They help us feel connected and valued, yet so many people fail to make genuine friends with their colleagues. Make an effort to socialize beyond the confines of work chat. Speak to people in your lunch break and organize get-togethers after work. You’ll get to know your work associates much better and get more enjoyment out of going into the office.
Change your surroundings
Is your office gray and miserable? Why not change it up? Bring in some plants or personal photos to make you feel more at home. You could even ask your boss to hire an interior painting contractor to brighten up the walls and add a splash of color. You’ll feel much happier and productive in an aesthetically pleasing environment.
Explore alternative options
If you really can’t find a way to enjoy your job, maybe it’s time to leave. There are plenty of other career options out there, and there is a role for you that will make you happy. Start looking for alternative opportunities and soon enough you will find the right job.