Who is responsible for employee job satisfaction? Clearly employers work hard to create work environments that will retain employees. However, employees also own part of their own job satisfaction. There are a number of reasons people do not want to get up and go to work every day. You may dislike your job overall. You may not like your surroundings at work or the people you work with. You may not like your boss. Or you may just be bored with what you do.
Here are a few things you can do to make your average workday more enjoyable and may lead you to actually look forward to going to work each day, if you do not already:
Tip #1 - Step Out Of The Routine By Trying Something New Each Day
Trying something new can be frightening at first because it is not a normal part of your day. Over time, however, as you succeed at trying new things, they are less frightening to you and your confidence builds. You begin to feel more comfortable with making these new things a part of your normal routine and seek to add more. Suddenly, you look forward to adding that new thing each day.
Try speaking to someone at work you have never met. Start a conversation by telling them exactly what you are doing and why. They will likely feel this is a good idea as well. Chances are they have a lot to offer in the way of conversation and experiences. As you expand out, your peer network grows. Your next great idea for changing the way you do things could easily come from one of these conversations.
Tip #2 - Being Healthy Can Make You Happier
Studies have shown there is a direct correlation between fitness and career success. Depending on your current situation, it may take some time and effort to get “fit.” So, what can you do now? The average worker reports a significant improvement in attitude, time management and performance on workdays that began with some type of exercise.
Set your alarm 30 minutes early and initiate some type of exercise before jumping in the shower. You don't have to jog 10 miles each day before work, simply walk 1 mile. Start with some jumping jacks or stretching exercises to get your blood pumping and to breath oxygen deeply into your system. Trade in your second cup of coffee for an apple while driving to work. The carbs and vitamins in an apple will give you an extra boost of energy for the day.
Tip #3 - Take A Break To Shut Down and Re-Charge
When working, you can easily sit at your desk for an entire day, just moving from one task to the next. In the back of your mind, you are already planning for that next task and concerned there will never be enough time to get it all done before the end of the day. The brain, like the muscles in your body, can only take so much strain before it “cramps.” Even the brain needs a “cool down” period before starting the next “exercise.”
Take a short break after completing one series of tasks before moving on to the next. Exercise the sensory part of your brain by taking it for a short walk outside the building. Leave your cell phone on your desk! Do not take those reports you need to review with you! Ask a co-worker to go with you if you want, but make sure you do not talk about work. Talk about last weekend, or a trip you have coming up. Grab a cup of coffee or bottle of water and simply walk around. You will find that when you return, you will feel refreshed and have the necessary energy to begin the next set of tasks.
Tip #4 - Avoid Unproductive Meetings
There is no bigger waste of time than an unproductive meeting. In fact, Salary.com for Business recently survey over 3,200 employees, asking them to rank their biggest time wasters at work. Coming in as the biggest time waster, 47% said attending too many meetings. Then there is the aftershock when you return to your desk and realize all the things you could have done with that time. It makes you furious, as you were likely getting a lot of things done before the meeting interfered. If you want a good laugh, watch this video entitled Every Meeting Ever. It's a great parody on how most meetings run at work. Instead, follow these steps to ensure meetings are more productive:
- If you are conducting the meeting, make sure you emphasize that everyone should arrive on time. Ask that everyone put away their cell phones and close their laptops. Provide paper and pens and insist that everyone take any notes by hand. Research shows improved retention whenever we have to write something down rather than simply enter it on a computer screen.
- Set an agenda before the meeting and be sure everyone sees it before they come. Assure those invited understand the importance or purpose of their being at the meeting. Make sure your files and presentations are organized and ready prior to the meeting so there is no scrambling around. Remember, your attendees are just as furious over unproductive meetings as you are.
- Make sure minutes from the meeting, including action items, are published and sent to everyone in attendance. This should happen quickly to further demonstrate the importance and benefit of the meeting, and to also keep momentum flowing.
Considering the percentage of our life spent at work, it is important to examine and check your attitude towards work, which is often easier to do than changing jobs. No matter how insignificant, or how small, find something at work and make it fun. Engage co-workers and together change the state of those around you. Making a slight shift or change in your perspective can make an immense change in your overall day. If you can enjoy what you do, it will make your whole life more enjoyable. Enjoying work is often more about our attitude towards it than the actual job we are performing. Your job is to:
- Choose opportunities over limitations
- Find a positive co-worker, observe and emulate
- Use your potential to create change in your perspective
- Find the positive and speak of it with your co-workers
- Incorporate what you are passionate about it into your work.
- Don’t be miserable in your job; create happiness at work and drive your career