Staying happy at work


If you find the Monday blues creeping up on you at the end of every weekend, you’re probably not enjoying your job as much as you should be. Either that, or you really love your weekends.

It’s perfectly normal to feel a little apprehensive at the start of the working week — five mornings of early wake-up calls can take their toll — but if worrying about work means that Sunday nights are one big come down, then you’re in dire need of our top tips for being happy in work.

Glass half full

I’ve got far too much work on, my colleagues are driving me mad, and my boss doesn’t seem to be pulling his weight. Sound familiar? That’s because moaning about your job is the easiest thing in the world; but that doesn’t mean it’s the best solution to your work niggles. If you really want to feel better about your 9-5, make a conscious effort to focus on the positives — you know, the things you actually like about your job. Even if it’s less about the work and more about the people, you’ll feel a whole lot better for thinking about the things that make you happy.

Embrace new challenges

Ok, so one of the main reasons we get restless in our jobs is out of sheer boredom. You might be quite comfortable plodding along with your regular workload — you might even be a little scared to embrace new challenges — but mixing up your usual activities can make your job a sight more interesting; whether that’s offering yourself up to mentor new staff, or shadowing someone in the business with a job that’s always interested you.

Take a bit of flexitime

Lots of companies have started to recognise the many wonderful benefits of letting their staff work far more flexibly than ever before, so if there’s an option to vary your week by, for example, working from home one day, it could give you the refresh you need. Just remember to work extra hard so your manager has no doubt that you can be trusted away from the office.

Learn something new everyday

In the same way that you need new challenges, you also need plenty of mental stimulation to stop you from feeling bored. If you’re not getting that from your current job, but you’re not ready to leave for pastures new, you might want to think about taking on some extra training; and if it’s work-related and could benefit your company, they might even agree to pay for it. Plus it’ll look great on you CV.

Mingle your way to happy

If you don’t meet many people as part of your job, why not take the initiative and organise a little networking event of your own? Spending time with people that you wouldn’t normally have the chance to can give you a fresh perspective, help you to learn something new, and leave you with some useful contacts. You could try organising a pub quiz or charity outing with the colleagues that you don’t work with everyday, or a team activity with those that you do.

Never lose the fun factor

The words ‘fun’ and ‘work’ don’t always go hand in hand, especially when you’re not enjoying your job; but if you’re keen for that to change, you’re going to have to do something about it. It’s totally within your power to inject a little bit of fun into your workplace — whether that’s organising a team breakfast every Monday morning, or going for a nice lunch on a Friday afternoon. You won’t always be the best of friends with all of your colleagues, but if you can inject a bit of fun, banter, and all-round enjoyment into your working day, you’re likely to enjoy it a whole lot more.

Make like a social butterfly

If you don’t make plans during the week, you might start to feel like work is taking over your life. Even if you’re tired or saving money, you should do something that you enjoy at least two nights a week; whether that’s going to an art exhibition, attending a yoga class, or just having a good old a catch-up with friends. Whatever you do, having things to look forward to throughout the week will make you feel happier overall.

Get your priorities right

If you’ve got too much work on to have any sort of work-life balance, you need to address it, and fast. Start by prioritising your workload so that you get the most crucial tasks done first, and if deadlines are unrealistic, try to negotiate them. Even when you’re busy, you should be looking to leave the office on time at least three nights a week; and if you can’t see how that’s even possible with your mountain of work, it’s time to have a word with your manager.

If you still feel downright miserable at work after you’ve tried everything that we’ve suggested, it might be time to move on. Luckily for you, we know even more about helping you to find your dream office job than we do about making the very best of your current one.