How can I boost my happiness at work?

Monday, September 23, 2019

Did you know that the average person spends around 90,000 hours at work over a lifetime? With a large amount of time spent in one place we really should be making sure we’re the happiest we can be in it. International Week of Happiness at Work say when you are happy, you are healthier, more positive, more social and more successful.

Devoting this much time to our job has a huge impact on our life - if we are happy at work then we are more likely to be happier outside of it. Happier employees are more productive, more involved and more innovative; and less likely to call in sick and suffer from burnout.

Happiness at work should be about meaningful work, healthy relationships, development and having a bit of fun along the way – so how can we boost it?

Coping with stress at work

Having high pressures and demands placed on employees can cause work-related stress, depression or anxiety. Poor mental health and stress can be triggered by:

  • job performance
  • productivity
  • engagement
  • communication with co-workers
  • physical capability

Work-related stress, anxiety or depression accounts for over half of all working days lost due to ill health in Great Britain. In total, 15.4 million working days were lost in 2017/18 as a result of the condition.

This equates to 57.3% of the 26.8 million work days lost to ill health, according to figures released by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE). In total, stress, anxiety and depression now make up 43.8% of all workplace illness, which is considerably higher than the 32% in 2001/02.

Workplace wellbeing

Being happy at work is more than just a new year’s resolution; it takes serious effort to change behaviour, as work can sometimes overwhelm us.

Ideas to bring more happiness into the office can be easily forgotten or put on the end of the ‘to-do’ list. So, here’s some easy ways to help create happiness in the workplace, as found on The Happiness Index:

Have a welcoming environment

Office workers spend a large portion of their day sat in front of a computer screen and retail assistants on the shop floor. So by creating areas where people can recharge and unwind you’re forming a working environment that people want to be part of.

Have quiet/comfy areas where people can relax or a ping pong table set up to have some fun and you’ll more than likely see productivity and output increase.

At Health-on-Line we introduced a wellness library, full of the latest books on cooking and fitness through to learning a new skill, to help encourage a learning culture here in the office.  We also revamped our staff rooms and provided a ping pong table for when our employees need a break from the screen.

>>Read more about the launch of our Health and Wellbeing programme

Empower people to improve company culture

If you have empowered people who are devoted advocates of the business then they will go above and beyond which will have a knock-on effect to those around them.

Empower people by putting your faith in them, give them freedom and accountability for their actions and you’ll have a positive company culture.

Here at Health-on-Line we run a Champions of Health-on-Line award every quarter focused on a particular theme, with the winner nominated by their fellow colleagues. Our recent ‘Customer Centricity’ award was given to someone who was recognised as going above and beyond to put the customer first.

These awards recognise our employees and their hard work and helps to strengthen our positive company culture.

Provide flexibility for work-life balance

The line between work and home is becoming increasingly blurred. Longer working hours and less time spent away from the office result in a poor work-life balance.

It’s important to find the right balance, so that when people come to work they’re not dreading it the night before and seeing it as a chore as soon as they arrive. Giving people the freedom to fulfil their duties and talking to them about what might work for them will in turn make them feel more valued.

Demonstrate transparency

Leading with transparency will enable the team to understand their purpose behind their duties, as well as help them stay informed on what it going on around the business; and how they fit into this.

If you keep your workers in the dark you run the risk of them feeling under-valued and dis-empowered.

Communicate regularly

If you’re failing to listen to the concerns of your workers then it can lead to frustration and loss of productivity.

  • Have open communication and help build a stable team that wants to work hard within your business.
  • Create systems so everyone can contact you when they need to.
  • Don’t leave messages unanswered, as this can lead to your team feeling unimportant.

The most important conversations should be face-to-face as your meaning and tone will be clearer in person and not misconstrued.

Encourage time off!

Having a break from work allows us to mentally and physically recover from the everyday workplace stresses. Encourage everyone to use all of their annual leave, as this will help increase the individual’s focus, productivity and ambition when they return.

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