Spreading Happiness at Work

Even while the recession puts more pressure on many businesses, there’s no reason that the atmosphere must be dire. Happy workers do better work and better work is the only way to weather the economy.

No matter what position you hold, you can take charge of the way you think to increase your job satisfaction and have a positive influence on your colleagues.

Make Yourself Happier at Work

1. Accept the situation. Every job has unpleasant duties. If your position prevents you from being able to change the situation, try to accept it. Look for the humor in having to complete a detailed form that no one ever reads or devote your energy to thinking about more constructive things.

2. Take breaks. Giving yourself a rest is good for your emotional health and productivity. Stand up and step away from the computer for a few minutes every hour. Take time to chat with your coworkers so long as you don’t distract them from their work.

3. Take control. Feeling in control is an important factor in job satisfaction. Plan ahead to make your work more pleasant. Keep your to do list up to date. Propose a timeline for major projects. Your supervisor may appreciate your initiative and you’ll avoid the stress of leaving things until the last minute.

4. Get organized. It’s easier to feel relaxed if your surroundings are in good order. Clear away clutter. Keep supplies and files you use frequently in a spot where you can access them easily.

5. Engage more fully. You may find your work more interesting if you devote your full attention to it. Look for ways to streamline routine tasks. Listen actively to presentations, take notes and ask follow up questions.

6. Think positive. Focus on the things you like about your job and the people you work with. Remind yourself of reasons to be grateful, such as opportunities to travel or flexible hours so you can attend your child’s soccer games.

7. Use your strengths. Identify your strong points and put them to work for you. Whether you’re a good writer or an effective salesperson, volunteer for assignments that will make the most of your talents.

8. Connect with your motivation. Keep in mind the purpose of your work. You may feel a personal affinity with the mission of your employer or feel gratified knowing that you’re providing for yourself and your family.

Help Your Colleagues Feel Happier At Work

1. Regard others with affection. It’s easier to have cordial relations with your coworkers if you decide to like them. Think about your feelings for your family and friends and try to extend those positive emotions to everyone you interact with. Find something you like about each coworker and focus on that quality when you engage them.

2. Regard others with compassion. The people you find difficult may need the most kindness. Imagine yourself in the other person’s position during a conflict to understand where they’re coming from.

3. Be generous with praise. Observe the good qualities and skills that your colleagues possess. Let them know that you appreciate their strengths and contributions.

4. Help out. Pitch in when your coworkers ask for help. Pay attention and notice when someone has extra work so you can volunteer without even being asked.

5. Bring food. Food will instantly enhance your popularity and cheer people up. Bring in a bag of bagels. Donate a tin of cocoa or a special tea to the office kitchen.

The way you think about your work can lift your spirits and make you a better coworker. You spend a good deal of your life at the office, so use these tips to make it a better time for yourself and the people you work with.

Kathleen Parker: Tweaking real life
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