How do you feel about work?

Do you love your job?

Being unemployed is no fun but is there much fun at work? Do you enjoy your job? Recently the Guardian newspaper did a survey of 500 of their readers and asked then whether they were happy at work. Only 38% said they were happy at work compared to the UK average of 40%.

Less is More

It seems that people working in small businesses where there are less than 10 people are the happiest. 64% of people in micro-businesses are happy at work, nearly twice the national average.

Do Good – Feel Good

People who knew that their work would be of benefit to others were also much happier. It may not always be possible to work in a small organisation but maybe this is an argument for having small teams and different departments.

Choose to Be Happy

Happiness is a choice even though we may feel as though it is not. We can place our attention on what it going right, what we enjoy and what is good but equally, we can make ourselves miserable by only looking at the things we don’t like and don’t enjoy. This is particularly true at work. We have to make the choice to be happy for ourselves though, being told you are lucky to have a job and a wage is unlikely to make you feel appreciative and grateful even though you know it is true. Just as when you were a child, your Mum telling you to eat up your dinner and consider the children in the world who were hungry didn’t motivate you to gratefully eat your vegetables either.

Be Mindful Be Happy

When we pay attention to what we are doing, even a task that we have done a thousand times before, we do a better job and get more satisfaction. Being engaged in what we do is likely to put us into the state of ‘flow’ a term coined by positive psychologist Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi. People who have flow experiences at work find that the day seems to pass quicker and they are more likely to enjoy the tasks they do.

Avoid the Negative

If you work with other people who are not enjoying their work, they can be a negative influence . Try to avoid the complainers, gossipers and moaners and don’t be one yourself. Instead, choose to be a positive influence. You don’t have to be a ‘Pollyanna’ type in order to notice what is good about the day, just place your attention on what you like and  what is going right. People are drawn to those who smile and are upbeat and happiness is infectious and spreads.

Set Yourself Challenges

When boredom is the problem, try setting yourself some challenges. For instance, finish the task in less time, or set yourself a target to meet during the day. This might be an advantage to your employer but you will benefit too.

Are You in the Right Job?

If you are consistently unhappy at work then it may be that you are in the wrong job. Ask yourself what job you’d do if you could pick any job in the world. You may not be able to get your dream job but by identifying the features of the jobs that appeal to you, you will know what kind of job can give you similar feelings.

The Long Commute 

Research has shown that people who spend a lot of time commuting are likely to be anxious and unhappy. You may get paid more to work in the City but does it compensate for the hours spent travelling? Maybe earning less, somewhere closer to home in a small company would make you a lot happier than you are now?


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