Being happier at work might seem like an oxymoron: It’s work after all, right? Isn’t it supposed to be miserable? Actually, no. While we’re all for finding jobs that fulfill you for their own sake, we understand that the context of those jobs—coworkers, menial tasks, office politics, and so on—can put a damper on your joy, no matter how much you love your work. Fortunately, we’re not powerless here. There are plenty of ways to be happier at work that can make any situation, even one you’re trying to leave, a little more bearable.
So what makes you happy at work? If you’re struggling to find the answer, read on.
83 Tips for Getting Happier At Work Today
Here are 83 ways to turn up the joy at your job. Because when we’re happier at work, we’re happier in life. Hard to argue with that one, right?
One of the best ways to be happier at work is to find the meaning in what you do and stay connected to it through all of your tasks. Yup, even the annoying ones. When you’re able to see the meaning behind your work—how it’s helping people, contributing to a larger company goal, building a product that makes life easier for someone—it suddenly matters a lot more. And that’s according to science, not just us. This article will teach you why meaning matters and then show you how to create it in your job. Get reading.
Unless you work remotely, you commute every day. And that means you’ve got anywhere from 10–60+ minutes to make or break your workday. Rather than focusing exclusively on making this a productive time, we’re all about using your commute for one thing: enjoyment. With tips for each mode of transport, whether you’re going by car, train, foot, or bike, you’ll get ideas for how to start your day on a high note. And keep it there. After all, being happier at work starts before you get there.
We know what you’re thinking: Happiness and positivity aren’t the same thing. But learning to be more positive in your work environment can certainly help you be a little, if not a lot, happier at work. Get our seven steps to building a positive attitude every day, and see how your work days improve as a result. And hey, it’s worth it just to give yourself a reward every day. Frappe Friday, anyone?
Stay with us for a sec: Sometimes being happier at work is about getting your tasks done faster and more efficiently so you can get out of there and get on with your life. That’s why focus is so important. With these top five tips, you’ll be better equipped to take on your most important work without the distractions, minimizing both your stress and your overtime. Sounds like happiness to us. Or at least the time to create some.
We’ve all heard of time-management; we’ve all failed at it at one point or another. (Guilty.) But what if there’s a better way? There is, according to science, and it’s about managing your energy instead. This is a whole-self approach to getting your stuff done that takes into account things like rest, exercise, connection, and joy—both in and outside of the office. Being happier at work might just mean better balance in general. And if that includes a long lunch or an afternoon nap, even better.
We’re still pumped that a critical part of productivity involves taking breaks. It’s also a big part of feeling happier at work. Think about it: How happy do you feel when your brain is burned out? Those instinctual calls for daydreaming or taking a walk are signs that you’re losing brain power. So listen to them. Here are 11 ideas for taking breaks that actually rejuvenate you, your brain, your body, and your mind. If taking a walk through a flower garden doesn’t make you a little happier, we’re not sure what will.
Sometimes we just need a little music to tap our toes to while we work through simple tasks or projects. Luckily, science has shown that music can help us both enjoy our work and get more of it done. As long as it’s the right type for you. Check out how music can boost your brain and get five playlists to get you started on the way to a happier workday.
Stress is sort of inevitable in the workplace. Your reaction to it, on the other hand, doesn’t have to be. Find out how to be a little happier at work by changing the way you think about it and the challenges it brings. You might find that enjoying your job has more to do with your perception of it than the actual work itself. And that puts you back in control—where you belong.
One super easy way to feel happier at work? Let a little light in. Literally. This science-backed tip shows that sunlight can ease common productivity-killers like headaches, drowsiness, and eye strain. And we all know that daylight and mood are closely connected. Even if it weren’t, any day without a headache is a happy one in our book. Find out three simple strategies for getting more sunlight in the office and see how your mood improves as a result.
We’re all a little happier at work when we can cross off our most important to-dos before week’s end. (Hands up if you’re familiar with the Friday afternoon scramble to do four day’s worth of work in two hours. …not that we’d ever do that.) To really make moves on your work without making your stress levels soar, you need to learn how to prioritize. Fortunately, we’ve done that for you. Find out the best ways to prioritize your work, including two fail-proof systems that will have you checking boxes off in no time.
Nod along if you agree: Happiness is an empty inbox. Unfortunately, we can’t magically erase your emails, but we can show you how to deal with them more efficiently. Because ultimately, the less time we spend on email, the more time we spend on important work. And, you got it, the more time we spend on important work, the less stress we have. It’s all a loop. So let our five email tips show you the way to being happier at work.
Procrastination is the anti-happiness. And yet, most of us can’t seem to stop doing it. But if we could, we’d find that our work weeks were less hectic, more productive, and a little happier. So stop procrastinating your way out of dealing with procrastination and follow our 4-step, personal guide to shutting it down for good.
If you want to be happier at work and anywhere really, it helps to do some good old-fashioned science. With yourself of course. Download one of these 11 apps to dig into what makes you happy, what bums you out, and what you can do about it. We break down all 11 of them so all you have to do is pick the one that fits you best, download, and keep track. After all, you can’t change what you can’t track.
The very intelligent folks over at Harvard Business Review have thought of everything. And that means they’ve developed a quiz that can help you figure out what you need to do to be happier at work. All that’s left to do now is take it and dig into some of our strategies to boost your mood on the job and in the rest of your life too.
Your turn: Are you happy at work? What’s your go-to method for boosting your mood on the job? Share in the comments.
For more happy tips, check out our post on money and happiness.
Author: Chelsey Taylor
Chelsey likes words, especially adjectives, and has been perfecting her perfectionism since infancy. She’s an endorphin-gatherer, top-knot connoisseur, and content manager at Panda Planner.