You Can Make Your Workplace Enjoyable and Fun


Working at Google sounds very cool. Google has been at the forefront of being a motivating employer with perks that include free healthy and gourmet food, haircuts, a swimming pool, a rock climbing wall, billiards, video games, ping pong, and laundry facilities. Google is pet-friendly, offers oil changes, has a gym for employees, and offers exercise classes. 

Google's other brothers and sisters in high tech companies like Alphabet, Apple, Adobe, Amazon, Cisco, Facebook, Intel, Intuit, Microsoft, LinkedIn, Salesforce, Twitter and PayPal all offer perks for employees that are the state of the art in benefits. You may find a dark side to their investment in employee perks.

Although employers like Google try to provide the best workplaces, those state of the art perks enables employees to spend much more time at work. As a result, work-life balance can become eroded. Even the best employer with all the perks might not be best for everyone or make everyone happy at work.

Employers have opportunities beyond perks to contribute to the happiness of their employees at work. And, contributing is essential since happy employees are more productive. You can increase their productivity in many other ways, too.

But, the fundamental responsibility for experiencing happiness at work rests with the individual employee. You can bring your passion and joy to the office. Below are tips that might help you find happiness at work.

1.  Choose to Be Happy at Work

Happiness is mostly a choice. You can choose to be happy at work. It sounds simple, but it's often difficult to put into action. We all wish to have the best employer in the world, but, let's face it, we may not.

So, think positively about your work. Dwell on the aspects that you enjoy about work, and avoid negative people and gossip. Find coworkers you like and spend your time with them. Your choices at work largely define your experience. You can choose to be happy at work.

2.  Do Something You Love Every Single Day

 You may or may not love your current job, and you may or may not believe that you can find something in your current job to love, but you can. 

Take a look at yourself, your skills, and interests, and find something that you can enjoy doing every day. If you do something you love every single day, your current job won't seem so bad.

3. Take Charge of Your Own Professional and Personal Development

You are the person with the most to gain from continuing to develop professionally. Take charge of your own growth; ask for specific and meaningful help from your boss, but march to the music of your personally developed plan and goals. You have the most to gain from growing—and the most to lose, if you stand still.

4.  Take Responsibility for Knowing What Is Happening at Work

People often complain that they don't receive enough communication and information about what's happening with their company, their department's projects, or their coworkers. They wait for their boss to fill them up with knowledge. And, the knowledge rarely comes.

Why? Because the boss is busy doing their job and doesn't know what you don't know. Seek out the information you need to work effectively. Develop an information network and use it. Assertively request a weekly meeting with your boss and ask questions to learn. You are in charge of the information you receive.

5. Ask for Feedback Frequently

Have you made statements such as, "My boss never gives me any feedback, so I never know how I'm doing." Face it; you know exactly how you're doing. Especially if you feel positive about your performance, you just want to hear him acknowledge you. If you're not positive about your work, think about improving and making a sincere contribution.

Then, ask your boss for feedback. Tell him or her that you'd like an assessment of your work. Talk to your customers, too; if you're serving them well, their feedback will be affirming. You are responsible for your own development. 

6.  Make Only Commitments You Can Keep

One of the most serious causes of work stress and unhappiness is failing to keep commitments. Many employees spend more time making excuses for failing to keep a commitment and worrying about the consequences of not keeping a commitment than they do performing the tasks promised.

Create a system of organization and planning that enables you to assess your ability to complete a requested commitment. Don't volunteer if you don't have time. If your workload is exceeding your available time and energy, make a comprehensive plan to ask the boss for help and resources. Don't wallow in the swamp of unkept promises.

7.  Avoid Negativity

Choosing to be happy at work means avoiding negative conversations, gossip, and unhappy people as much as possible. No matter how positively you feel, negative people have a profound impact on your psyche. Don't let the negative nellies bring you down. And, keep on singing in the car on your way to work, or start.

8.  Practice Professional Courage

If you are like most people, you don't like conflict. You've never been trained in how to participate in meaningful conflict, so you likely think of conflict as scary, harmful, and hurtful. Conflict can be negative, but if it's done well, conflict can also help you accomplish your work mission and your personal vision.

Conflict can help you serve customers and create successful products. Happy people accomplish their purpose for working. Why let too little professional courage keep you from achieving your goals and dreams? Make conflict your friend.

9.  Make Friends

 In their landmark book, "First, Break All The Rules: What the World’s Greatest Managers Do Differently,"  Marcus Buckingham and Curt Coffman list twelve important questions. When employees answered these questions positively, their responses were true indicators of whether people were happy and motivated at work.

One of the key questions was, "Do you have a best friend at work?" Liking and enjoying your coworkers are hallmarks of a positive and happy work experience. Take time to get to know them. You might like and enjoy them. Your network provides support, resources, sharing, and caring.

10.  If All Else Fails, Job Searching Will Make You Smile

 If all of these ideas aren't making you happy at work, it's time to reevaluate your employer, your job, or your entire career. You don't want to spend your life doing work you hate in an unfriendly work environment.

Most work environments don't change all that much. But unhappy employees tend to grow even more disgruntled. You can secretly smile while you spend all of your non-work time searching for a job. It will only be a matter of time until you can quit your job—with a big smile. 

Article by Susan M. Heathfield