If you spend 40 or more hours each week on the job, then it stands to reason that you want it to be a pleasant experience. Yet 60% of today's workers are unhappy at work, according to analytics and consulting firm Great Place to Work. If you're one of them, here are a few simple changes that could make a big difference.
1. Take breaks
It's easy to feel drained when you chain yourself to your desk for eight hours or more in a row without a reprieve other than to use the restroom and grab your pre-packed lunch from the fridge. On the other hand, your outlook might change for the better if you allow yourself to take breaks during the day to clear your head, move your body, and get a small change of scenery. You can go for a walk mid-day, or take a drive to a lunch spot once a week for a longer escape.
2. Find a colleague to confide in
Many people avoid getting close to their co-workers, but relaxing in that regard could make you happier on a whole. If you build a relationship with a colleague that allows you to confide in that person, seek advice, and hash out your frustrations, you may find that having that sounding board provides a much-needed dose of relief.
3. Take on a new, challenging project
Doing the same things at the office day in and day out can get boring over time, and that, in turn, can make you quite unhappy. If tedium has started to rear its ugly head, find a new project to work on, whether that means jumping in on an existing initiative or proposing one yourself. It'll engage your mind and help you feel better about the work you're doing.
4. Get more organized
If you're stressed out about the many things you have to do at work to the point where you're downright unhappy, getting more organized could help turn things around. Carve out some time to tidy up your desk, and find a calendar or scheduling app that helps you better keep track of deadlines and meetings. It might also help to create a daily or weekly to-do list that maps out your priorities so that you know where to focus your efforts the most.
5. Be more social
You don't have to become best friends with your colleagues to enjoy their company. Participating in work-related events like group lunches, happy hours, or volunteer projects could make your job more pleasant on a whole and give you more things to look forward to. And who knows? By getting to know your co-workers socially, you might open the door to different opportunities that help your career.
When you're not happy at work, your performance can suffer. Once that happens, it can put your job at risk. Rather than let things get to that point, take some steps to improve your job-related experience. A few simple moves on your part could change your outlook for the better.