8 Secrets to Being Happier at Work

We’ve all been there, every so often (but hopefully not too often) finding ourselves in a bit of a funk at work, perhaps feeling unmotivated and a bit down - and who could blame us?

While we’ve all done our best to stay positive during the pandemic, some days prove to be more difficult than others when it comes to lifting or keeping our spirits up, and, really, we could say the same regardless of the unprecedented circumstances that the coronavirus has brought on. After all, work is work, right? 

With that being said, whether you already feel content in your role or simply looking for a little morale boost, we’ve listed 8 secrets to being happier at work.


1. Super Foods to Boost Your Mood 

Whether it’s first thing in the morning, during lunch, or for your afternoon snack, one of the best ways to put a bit of pep back in your step is by nourishing yourself with foods that will boost your mood and increase those feel-good chemicals in your brain!

If you’re not familiar with what foods are best to help you out, some key (and delicious!) superfoods include:

  • Yoghurt
  • Bananas
  • Oats and granola
  • Berries
  • Nuts and seeds
  • Coffee, and
  • Dark chocolate (yes, that’s right, chocolate!)

Oh, and don’t forget to drink water and stay hydrated - a factor equally as important as eating healthy to keep you focused and feeling great.

2. Help Out a Colleague 

When it comes to being happier at work (and in life), studies continue to show that compassion, kindness, and acts of goodwill make us genuinely happier people.

With that in mind, it seems that a key factor in feeling happy at work is helping out a co-worker with a task or project as, from what research shows, it helps to create and contribute to a healthy mental reward system that promotes a higher level of happiness and satisfaction than those colleagues who don’t prioritise helping others.


3. Get Outside 

Whether it’s a nice day or perhaps a little cloudy, it’s a great idea to get outside on your break or at lunchtime for a walk around the block or even down the street.

Not only will spending time outdoors in the fresh air have you feeling happier, but it’s a great way to shake off any lingering work stress while also having a positive impact on your mental health.

If you’re not one for solo walks, however, you can ask a coworker to take a stroll with you for a nice chat over a portable cup of warm java.

4. Smile, Laugh, Repeat 

It sounds silly, but research has proven that simply smiling - whether that be forced or not - actually makes us happier as our brain interprets smiling as a positive physical reaction to something enjoyable.

While forcing a smile may not make that report any less boring to mill through, it may still very well make you feel like it’s that much easier to finish.

To this end, be sure to take a moment here and there to chat with your colleagues and share a laugh too. This will make you feel good while also contributing to a more positive working environment, subsequently making you feel better in your role and the organisation.

desk space

5. Renovate Your Desk Space 

Remember when you were a kid and you changed your room around every now and then and felt like a whole new, invigorated person afterward? Well, you can apply that same ideology to your desk space too!

If your desk space - at home or in the office - is quite bland or is set up the same as it was pre-pandemic, for example, now might be a great time to add a new photo to that picture frame and maybe add a knickknack here and there that brings fond memories and a smile when you look at it.

6. Track Efforts Over Accomplishments 

Both at work and at home it seems that our milestones are often tracked by accomplishments, sometimes leaving us feeling as though it’s not enough to just try for something as we’re typically taught that we’ve simply failed if we don’t succeed.

However, when we flip the script on that narrative, that’s when we start experiencing real happiness at work because we take what might be considered a failed attempt as a lesson instead.

These lessons often help us grow as people and as employees, prompting us to increase our productivity at work by working smarter, not harder to get the job done.


7. Count More Sheep 

We’re all guilty of having one too many late nights, especially if one of your ways to unwind after work includes binge-watching your favourite series, however, the National Sleep Foundation advises that adults get anywhere from 7 to 9 hours of sleep per night to be well-rested and ready for their day.

When you prioritise getting yourself into bed at a decent time, your chances of being able to focus, think, and perform better means you’ll be spending much less time being unhappy at work.

8. Plan Ahead 

Perhaps one of the best ways to remain positive at work for the long term is to set short-term, realistic goals for both yourself and your career.

This includes:

  • Taking and planning that well-deserved holiday time.
  • A talk with your boss to speak about where you are in the company and where you hope to be in the future. 
  • Upskilling with a professional online programme.
  • Brainstorming personal goals (i.e. spending more time on your favourite hobbies or starting a side project), or
  • Revamping your resume to apply for new positions within your company or otherwise.

By finding some direction in where you want to go, you’ll undoubtedly find yourself feeling an enhanced level of happiness and motivation in the workplace.

Looking to be more content at work and in life? Take control of your future and enrol on a CIPD programme with us today to get started. 

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