Imagine your office actually being somewhere you look forward to going, every day. It would surely be good to feel this way. Hating your workplace can be incredibly draining and even contribute to a host of health problems, from gaining weight and losing sleep to interfering with personal relationships.
Of course, it can be easy to feel excited about heading to work each day if you’re pursuing a vocation you love. But most of us have mixed feelings about our jobs. When that happens, there are a few things you can do to make yourself like the office more. As compiled from The Huffington Post, here are some tips to improve your daily work life and make office a happier place for you.
1. Make friends at work
You might head to work just to get your job done and go home but research shows that lingering a bit longer to chit-chat with coworkers and clients can have a huge payoff.
People who create meaningful connections at work display an increase in passion and productivity. They are also less likely to quit their jobs and there is research to support that people with stronger social ties are not only happier, but may have stronger immune systems.
“Find and keep the people that you trust around you,” suggested Vince Passarelli, a clinical psychologist in New York. But, as with any friendship, be sure to maintain healthy boundaries, Bottom line: Take your conversation off chat and email to find some common ground with your coworkers.
2. Build a desk for success
“Just like you decorate your apartment or home, create a desk space that feels like home to you,” Rachel Brown, co-founder of The Wellness Project NYC said. She suggests bringing in pictures of loved ones and trinkets so it feels like a personal space. You can also take it a step further and arrange your desk so it is primed for productivity and your health. At the very least, try buying a plant or two. A strong body of research shows that greenery can make employees more attentive and reduce stress.
3. Schedule walking meetings
If a particular problem has you stumped, consider asking a colleague to walk and talk it out. Walking can boost creative thinking, according to researchers at Stanford University. You might come up with an out-of-the-box solution and reap a few other perks in the process. “A walking break also helps you get Vitamin D and sunlight, which helps your circadian rhythm. You’ll sleep better,” Brown said. A walk can lift your mood, even when you think it won’t.
4. Have an empathetic mindset
The best way to foster a positive work environment is to cultivate compassion for each person you interact with there. When you are feeling down about your job, it’s one of the best ways you can change perspective.
This works in situations where you might have a really difficult client too. By thinking about their needs and how you can meet them, you can shift from reactive to an empowered mindset.
5. Pack lunches you enjoy
Eating a sad desk salad really is quite sad if you don’t actually want to eat it. “Bringing a lunch you look forward to helps if you are really, really busy at work,” Brown said. “If you don’t have time to pick something up, you’re going to start eating what’s lying around at the office.” That could be the vending machine, scraps from a meeting, etc.
If you can, try to steal some time for a true lunch break. There is no shortage to the health benefits of actually stepping away from your monitor for a bit. Did you know that when you stop what you’re doing to eat, you actually eat less?
6. Take good care of yourself
“The big thing to remember is that we’re the same people inside of work as we are outside,” Brown said. People have a tendency to be one person inside the workplace, only to feel like themselves again in their personal lives, which can take a toll.
“In actuality you are just one person,” she added. “Take breaks. Eat healthy food. What would generally make you feel better? Those are the things you need to do.”
Published in The Express Tribune, December 5th, 2016.
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