Jack Torrance was right, a monotonous work routine is dull, but there’s no need for frustration to turn into a “here’s Johnny!” situation when happiness can be so easily found in the workplace. Even those of us who have the fortune to enjoy our work can find ourselves slipping into a negative mind set. Why? In part because working is something we have to do, that we have to turn up on time to, that we have to get dressed for – in most cases.
Start with a quick fix
Changes to your environment can be a quick fix booster. Adding a plant, changing your office lighting or making sure there’s a constant flow of fresh air are small but significant changes that can boost positivity and productivity. These quick fixes act like a paracetamol for a repetitive headache – but of course the real use is in working out what’s giving you the headache in the first place. Fundamentally, increasing workplace happiness is something you have to find in yourself.
Why not make a ‘happiness plan’?
Happiness is not hiding in your waste paper basket next to the sandwich wrapper. Happiness is not even an egg shaped chair hanging from a ceiling or an hourly delivery of ice cold cucumber water (no really, it’s not). Happiness comes about by ‘reframing your thoughts’. Without going overly Zen, the human condition is prone to talking itself into a negative tight-spot, especially when it comes to repetitive tasks. It isn’t the work environment that needs to change necessarily – it’s the way we think about work.
Think about what you have accomplished this week. Now think about what your work is teaching you this month. Finally, think about what you’d like to have achieved by the end of this year and what you can add to your day in order to achieve this. If it’s realistic, why not make a happiness plan?
Actively seek happiness
When armed with an open and positive attitude, it becomes possible to ‘magnetise’ happiness towards yourself and others. Getting to know your co-workers can even boost your happiness mission. 50% of employees with a good friend at work report that they feel a strong connection with their company, compared to just 10% percent of employees who don’t. There’s something poetic about investing time growing friendships as you grow personally and professionally – and remember this kind of happiness goes both ways.
Actively seek happiness as soon as you wake up in the morning, whether that’s through exercise, a good breakfast, music or getting up an hour earlier in order to write or paint your oeuvre d’art. Forge bonds with friends at work and spread the lightness of being that ‘being happy’ brings. Collectively, let’s take a step back and approach work calmly and positively, noting that if we’re privileged enough to be working in London, finding happiness (or not) is a choice.