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Only This Many People Are Happy at Work

By Maurie Backman - Jan 1, 2019 at 7:03AM

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It's an alarmingly low number.

Many workers spend upward of 40 hours a week on the job, and a large chunk of us go so far as to regularly log in after hours and on weekends to get our work done. Given the amount of time we all spend working and the massive collective effort we put in, you'd think more of us would be reasonably content with our respective employment situations. But actually, just 40% of today's workers are happy on the job, according to new research by analytics and consulting firm Great Place to Work.

If you're among the 60% of workers who are dissatisfied at the office, you shouldn't continue to let yourself walk around unhappy. Instead, take the following steps to improve your circumstances so that you're more content on the job.

Man looking sad while sitting in front of a laptop.


1. Seek out more responsibility

It's hard to enjoy your time spent at work when you're regularly bored out of your mind. If you're grappling with what seems like a dead-end job, don't just wait for more interesting tasks to fall in your lap. Instead, seek them out. Tell your manager you're looking to grow your skills and want to do more to add value to your company. With any luck, he or she will appreciate your initiative and accommodate you by helping mix things up a bit.

2. Get to know different people at your company

It's easy to feel stuck in a rut when you interact with the same people day in, day out. If you're feeling frustrated with your current routine, try networking more within your company. Sometimes, something as simple as getting to collaborate with a different team could do the trick in turning an unsatisfying work experience into a more positive one.

3. Ditch your toxic coworkers

Maybe you're reasonably content with the actual work you do but don't like the people you do it with or for. Unfortunately, all it takes is a bad boss or obnoxious set of coworkers to turn an otherwise decent job into a nightmare.

If that's the case, don't be afraid to explore other opportunities within your company, especially if you've managed to establish a decent reputation thus far. There could be another manager you get along with well or a team whose work style better meshes with yours, so it pays to see what moves you can make internally before dusting off your resume and looking for work elsewhere.

4. Find a new employer

If nothing you do helps you feel happier at your current job, it may be time to seek out a new employer. The downside of jumping to a different company is having to adjust to a whole new set of rules and policies. The upside, however, is that any sort of change can be a breath of fresh air. But don't just take any new opportunity. Rather, seek out a job you actually find interesting and a company whose culture will lend to a better experience on the whole. And don't gloss over the importance of scoring the salary you want -- because earning a decent living can tie directly into your overall satisfaction.

You deserve to be happy at work, no matter what it is that you do. If that's not the case at present, make changes that help improve your outlook. Otherwise, you risk burning out and compromising your career -- and your health -- in the process.

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