WORK-LIFE BALANCE / JUN. 30, 2015
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10 Things That Make You Happy at Work

What makes you happy at work? Apart from your colleagues and work environment, there are many other factors that affect your job satisfaction such as your working conditions and your relationship with senior management. But, what about the actual job itself?

Interestingly enough, a TDA survey that attempted to assess how bored graduates at work were, showed that the most boring professions were those in administrative/secretarial roles, sales jobs, marketing/advertising, IT, science research, media and law. The participants said that doing the same things every day and not being able to put their skills to use caused their lack of enthusiasm.  

As it turned out, the least bored employees were those who worked as teachers, who expressed that the challenges of the profession made each day different than the other giving them with the opportunity to use their creativity and engage with other people on a daily basis.

See Also: 10 Secrets to Living a Vibrantly Happy Life

But since boredom and happiness mean different things to each person, they can’t really be measured. The study doesn’t necessarily confirm that teachers are the happiest employees on earth or that secretaries aren’t and it’s unknown to whether they are actually happy in their jobs.  

Upon investigating this further, this is what came up. So here’s a list of the ten things that make you happy at work:

#1 Autonomy

The sense of autonomy is important to being happy at work. That’s because no one wants their boss to micromanage their work and watch their every move. Working independently allows you to get in touch with your creative side and work more efficiently.

#2 Clear rules 

The unwritten rules of the company’s organisational culture that are set by your boss essentially describe the behaviour of their employees. If there’s a strong organisational culture that’s constructive and effective, then work-ethics and values are respected by everyone and the work environment is in harmony.

#3 Green Spaces

Adding plants/trees or anything that’s green in the office has an immediate positive effect on your work performance. Not only does it make you and happier, but also more productive as it provides a rather calming effect. This is part of the reason why those who work in outdoor or active careers tend to be a lot happier than those who carry out administrative duties.

#4 Helping others

Interacting with other people on a daily basis has its benefits – even if you are working in customer service. Despite having to put up with customers’ complaints, your ability to help people knowing that their needs have been met gives you the kind of satisfaction and excitement you need to effectively do your job.

#5 Positive Feedback

Everybody needs some motivation every now and then. And what’s better than getting some positive feedback and words of encouragement from your boss? Constructive criticism is important not only for productivity but also improving workplace wellbeing. As long as positive feedback is relevant, specific, accurate and valuable that’s all you need to ensure you are on the right lines.  

#6 Professional Development

The majority of routine jobs out there don’t allow many opportunities for professional development. However, learning new skills and developing your knowledge on the subjects you care about is vital to your overall wellbeing and happiness. I mean if you can’t race towards your goals while having the freedom to do what you love then it’s only natural that you’ll stop enjoying work. Where opportunities for advancement exist, you tend to be motivated, happy and more energetic at work.

#7 Challenges

The more challenging the profession you are in, the more opportunities you have to develop. Not only do you get to learn more things, but you get to enjoy learning by facing difficulties along the way. These challenges allow you to grow into the professional you want to be within your field and you are happy they occur. This also keeps you busy and makes the nature of your job more interesting.

#8 Flow

Fast-paced work environments tend to be the most demanding. However, there’s a beauty to that. Working under these conditions can be energising and invigorating. Even though, there’s very little downtime, it seems that time goes by fast and before you know it you become so immersed in carrying out your tasks that you cease to notice how time has traveled so fast. Also, completing your goals in time provides you with the satisfaction of a job well-done.

#9 Commuting

Who can argue with the fact that living near your job makes you happy? Not only do you get to wake up later, but you also cut down considerable transportation expenses.

#10 Sense of purpose

Having a sense of purpose is the most important factor that has an immediate impact on your overall job satisfaction. This is all about ensuring that you are a part of team that works towards a common goal and that you are equally contributing to something meaningful. When you know why and for what you are working, you feel that the time spent working is valuable, and you are happy for helping your team and the company to develop.

See Also: The Science of Happiness

So what makes you happy at work? Before you share your own thoughts in the comments section below, take a look at this incredibly funny and inspiring video that shows employees from different disciplines dancing out about how happy they are in their jobs!

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