I’m sure all of you have heard the cliche, “If you do what you love, you’ll never work a day in your life.” It may be cliche, but whoever said it first was probably onto something. Now I’m not saying it’s realistic to assume everyone gets paid to work their passion or hobby. Some people probably do, and that’s great for them, but what about everyone else?
If your career doesn’t involve your passion, it doesn’t mean that phrase can’t still apply to you. Rather than waiting for your job to make you happy, the key is to make any job you do something you love. How do you do that?
Strategize how to have fun.
There are many such practices you can adopt in your workplace to make it more enjoyable. Here are just a few:
Create a Comfortable Space
If you work in a cubicle, chances are you get a little claustrophobic from time to time. You may not have a lot of space, or even a window, but there are ways to make do with what you have. Bring a potted plant, or something else low maintenance and green to your desk. Succulents or air plants not only require very little care, they bring a fresh and natural touch to your small space.
Pin up photos of your family, your friends, your dog—whoever makes you happy. Hang a poster of one of your favorite vacation spots. I’m not saying go crazy and decorate the whole office, but little touches to your desk might make you feel a little more comfortable.
Laughter happens best in community, so create a community at your workplace. Build friendships with your coworkers. If you are surrounded each day by people you actually enjoy spending time with, and can share a pleasant conversation and can laugh with, this will do wonders for lifting your mood.
When you need alone time, you can spend your breaks reading or watching something that makes you happy. Little mood boosts throughout the day will create an overall happier place.
Studies have shown that exercise releases endorphins. Endorphins make you feel good. Use your lunch break to go for a jog, or hit the gym. Stand up and walk to the water cooler or the bathroom often. Get your body moving throughout the day instead of staying sedentary. You could even invest in a balance ball, which is a large ball you can sit in at your desk to help with your posture and keep your body active with minimal effort.
Many companies have taken on the tradition of celebrating employees’ birthdays. This will make not only the person being celebrated feel good, but it can be a fun work day break for the whole office. Try to bring healthier options for snacks so people can enjoy some fun goodies without the guilt. You can also celebrate anniversaries or holidays–whatever your offices feels is appropriate.
Leave Work at Work
Seriously, one of the most important things you can do grow your happiness and fun at work is to leave. Go home at the end of the work day and spend time with your family or friends, take your dog on a hike, watch a movie, or read a book. Just do something that has nothing to do with your job. Creating a healthy work-life balance will help you enjoy your work more overall and ensure you don’t become consumed by it. Protect and maintain other interests and hobbies, and you will thank yourself later.
If your incorporate even a few of these ideas into your work life, you will see a change in your overall happiness at your job. What are your practices or traditions for keeping up morale at work?