We have all heard the gyan about finding our true passion and then pursuing it. That way, the gurus say, the work won’t feel like work and we will get true happiness. But sadly, 99% of working professionals (I just made up that number but feels true!) are stuck with jobs that they must do to keep moving in their career and fulfil other dreams in their life. So what should these unfortunate few do to be happy and satisfied on a daily basis while at work?
Normal workday brings with it a lot of stress, heartburn and anxiety. Easier way out for most people, if they hit the brink, is to look out for another job. But, believe me, most likely you will end up in a similar game elsewhere. Barring a few superficial cultural and interior designing differences, most modern corporates have a similar underlying work-ethic. The key is to accept what you have on table and create your own happiness at work. From employers’ perspective, I would imagine that an employee who is happy at work is definitely a more productive employee and is more likely to contribute to the long term performance of the company.
I have seen a few rather simple techniques work for me and I am happy to share these with you now.
Relax: Managers tend to judge their employees by how busy and tensed they look at work. Due to this, the employees are under pressure to appear super-busy by being glued to the computer screen even if there is nothing to do at that particular moment. Both sides need to change this. Just recognize a few free moments at work and relax for ten to fifteen minutes. Relaxation at work can be achieved by:
Just walking around alone
Closing your eyes at desk for a few minutes (not sleeping)
Conscious breathing (with your stomach and not chest)
Doing simple neck and eye exercises at the desk
Meditating for ten minutes
I am not counting chatting with your colleagues or taking a smoking/tea/coffee break with your colleagues as true relaxation as these are a part of your work. When you take these supposedly relaxing breaks, you are still watching over your shoulders, you are still politically correct and in a way, you are not the true you.
Avoid using emails to iron out differences in opinions. You may be a very gifted writer but human interactions are much more complex than what can be conducted properly on emails. First preference is to go for face to face talk and if that is not possible, pick up the old fashioned telephone. No messenger, chat or email can get your point across the way you can do it yourself.
Segregate the personality related differences from genuine logical difference in opinions. Just ignore (I know it is difficult) the personality related issues and focus on the real issue at hand. The other party and your management will recognize you and your efforts if you resolve the real issues.
Change yourself: It’s not your job to change the personality of the other people at workplace. But it is surely your responsibility to change yourself positively. Take regular feedback from people you trust and work upon incorporating it in your life. Working on your own personality in all aspects can get you happiness everywhere and improve your productivity in workplace manifold.
Well-being at Work: Work with your management to create a wellbeing program for all employees. If you are part of management, its your responsibility too. Agreed that the company cannot force the staff to follow anything but at least they can provide the facilities and tools. Large companies like Google, Apple etc. have been doing it but what about the smaller offices where the whole office size is smaller than the Gym at Infosys office. In large cities where real estate is expensive, employers cannot provide these facilities. The solution here is to think innovatively. Even a 15ft x 15ft cubicle with a couple of yoga mats and exercise balls is enough for employees to follow simple wellbeing techniques throughout the day. One can practice simple stretching, Yoga asanas, pranayama and meditation in this cubicle. And everyone need not do it at the same time. This is much better use of time than gossiping or cribbing about the company policies.
The happiness that you will achieve at work is infectious and carries on to your personal life as well.
Please feel free to leave a comment and write to me at email@example.com
A seeker and explorer in the quest for lasting happiness, health and well-being. An MBA from XLRI Jamshedpur and a Mechanical Engineer from IIT Delhi. Has been a senior banker with large global banks like Goldman Sachs, Deutsche Bank and ANZ Bank. Working in these demanding global institutions with a gruelling schedule and plenty of business travel. Was fortunate to realise the importance of health and wellbeing early on. Learnt and practiced many wellbeing tools and techniques to focus on his own well-being while balancing the demands of a high-profile career and a lovely family.