Would you say you’re happy in your work? You might be forgiven that this is pushing the boundaries of health and safety a little too far, but the knock on effect can be very effective. Maybe you think that searching for happiness at work is akin to the pursuit of the Holy Grail but it is possible and may just be far more reachable than you’d imagine.
The ripple effect
A happy workforce makes everything better. It’s more likely that they’ll buy into new initiatives or even health and safety procedures far easier if everyone is already generally happy to be there. However, getting that point might be the biggest hurdle and the place to begin is with yourself. Here are a few tips on how to begin, just keep it to yourself!
- Engage with colleagues – It might be as simple as a “thank you” or “excuse me” but engaging with the people you work with can be an uplifting experience. A “good morning” to that person you pass often in the corridor but don’t actually know, might be the starter to a wonderful relationship that adds a sense of achievement and wellbeing to the working week.
- Smile – The act of smiling might not only help brighten someone else’s day but it can help you feel good too. You release endorphins when you smile which helps to lower stress. Double whammy!
- Don’t clock watch – Watching the clock only makes the days seem longer. That seconds hand seems to make its way around the face slower as each hour goes by. You could try setting small achievable goals throughout the day to give a sense of achievement, help the time to pass quicker and ensure you leave at the end of the day feeling good about yourself.
- Work out – Those pesky endorphins do have a lot to answer for and here they are again, being released whenever you work out or do something active. You don’t have to become a body builder or be training for a marathon, just 10-15 minutes a day can help you feel better and ready to challenge the world.
- Inject some humour into emails – More endorphins! As with smiling, laughter is great for you internal functions. You get a sense of well-being and reduce blood pressure and stress when you laugh. Apparently research suggests that children laugh 300 times every day but it reduces to 5 when you’re an adult, that’s just not fair!
- Indulge in healthy eating – You might think that the chocolate bar you resorted to for comfort has made you feel good. It may be that there is a momentary injection of pleasure but the reasons behind you consuming it in the first place remain. Eating healthily is well documented as being good for you for all kinds of obvious reasons. There’s no getting away from the fact that if you feel better generally by eating more healthily, time at work will benefit too.
- Celebrate little victories – By splitting you day or workload in smaller manageable chucks you can achieve more and enjoy more victories. In turn this helps happiness and motivation, and let’s be honest, who doesn’t want more of those things?
- Enjoy lunch al-fresco when possible – Fresh air feels good right? If the sun is out that extra vitamin D and serotonin you’ve gained from just 20 minutes catching rays is going to make you feel good, good, good!
- Pick your battles – Some of the battles you enter into at work really aren’t worth the fight. Give yourself a moment before going in feet first and think about how important the situation really is? What will you gain from a win in this argument? Sometimes the moral high ground is the best place to be, even if it’s only you who recognises that’s where you are.
- Enjoy low-stress time off – We all know that downtime is essential in any walk of life. Your body needs time to relax and it’s important to ensure that you have something to look forward to.
Think yourself happy
There’s quite a lot to go at there but there’s no reason to believe it’s unachievable. A little focus and hey presto getting up in the morning doesn’t have to be so bad! It also means you’re likely to be more alert when you get to work too and from a health and safety point of view that has to be a good thing. It’s also good when you have teams of people pulling together and looking out for each other too, another tick in the health and safety column.