Many people treat work as a slog. Mondays are the worst days, they spend their commute with a frown on their face, and they count down the minutes until the weekend arrives.
Most people, but not all of them. Across the world, thousands if not millions of people go to work feeling happy. Here is what they have in common.
- They have strong relationships at work.
The happiest workers go to the office not just for their job but for their coworkers. People who have a strong bond with the people they work with are more likely to be dedicated to their job and enjoy it. Scientific studies have shown that workplace friendships are crucial to well-being.
- They have strong leadership.
Managers often set the tone for the workplace environment. People who have good relationships with their managers are more likely to be happy at work. This does not mean that managers need to be buddy-buddy with their employees. Instead, they should prioritize good communication, clear expectations, and fairness.
- They have a sense of purpose.
Many people who hate going to work do so because they feel they are spending most of their days doing work that ultimately doesn’t matter. According to this report from Net Impact, many people want jobs where they feel as if their contributions count and are helping the world become a better place.
This does not mean that everyone has to work for a nonprofit, even supplying people with their morning coffee can help someone feel a sense of purpose if the workplace environment is right.
- Their efforts are recognized.
Nobody wants to spend hours slogging away at a task only to feel as if nobody will recognize their work. When people feel ignored at work, they are often demoralized and unhappy. In contrast, people who work in offices where coworkers and supervisors recognize their efforts and reward them are happier.
- They take an active role in their workplace.
People who are happier at work often feel that way because they took steps to create that happiness. They take the lead on projects that interest them and suggest new ideas in meetings. They seek out strong relationships with coworkers and supervisors. While much of your workplace happiness depends on others, at least part of it is your responsibility.
- They have independence.
Most workers are adults. Some even have families of their own, mortgages, and other responsibilities. Yet, workplaces often treat employees like children and micromanage their daily tasks. By contrast, workplaces where employees have some flexibility to set their hours, complete tasks independently, and even work from home when they need to have happier employees.
- They are kind to others.
The happiest people at work are often responsible for boosting the happiness of others as well. They show kindness to others, help people out with their tasks, and don’t hesitate to offer a smile or gentle word to coworkers going through a rough day. When it comes to workplace happiness, the Golden Rule often applies, and treating others the way you would like to be treated can boost your satisfaction.
Workplace happiness rarely depends on one thing, but a combination of factors including workplace culture, strong management, and your actions. There is no instant formula to a happy workplace, but the good news is that you are not doomed to dread Mondays every day until retirement. By finding a job with purpose and community or creating your own through initiative, you can be one of those people who work happily.