How to Be Happier at Work

The workplace can be a jungle. Reports are due. Assignments need to get done. Company goals need to be met. Your job can sometimes get the best of you and put some strain on your life. As such, it shouldn’t come as a shock to learn that over half of Americans are unhappy with their jobs. That’s right — 52.3 % of working Americans can’t stand the job they do for eight hours each day and five days each week.

This unhappiness can stem from a lot of things. Maybe the job simply isn’t the right fit for the employee. Or, perhaps the employee isn’t getting paid enough. How many times have you heard a co-worker complain about how they don’t get paid enough for their job? Whatever the cause, it’s clear that employees frequently feel distraught.

But there are ways to alleviate the unhappiness that permeates throughout so many workplaces. And they’re easier to incorporate then you think.

Find a Purpose

When people don’t know why they’re doing what they’re doing, it’s difficult to be happy. When you’re floating through your job without any direction, it’s hard to be productive. So, one of the things you can do to change your happiness level at work is to find purpose.

Now, this doesn’t mean you have to feel like a superhero when you’re flipping burgers. If you do, that’s great! However, finding a purpose can mean securing that purpose outside of work. You may not like your job, but if it elevates you to greater heights outside of work, that’s not a bad thing. That’s a pretty good purpose to have.

Make Friends

With a workplace that’s daunting, you can feel lonely and isolated. You may feel as if everyone is against you and that everyone in the office doesn’t understand you. If this is your thought path, you’d be surprised to learn that you’re wrong. Your co-workers have the same concerns you do.

Since you have more in common with your co-workers than you think, making a friend in the office is highly important to your happiness. Establishing a friendship can connect you. You can share your troubles with a like-minded individual in a healthy way. You can also pass the time by telling jokes and having a genuinely good time.

Acknowledge Small Achievements

We all have wins and we all have losses. But it’s what we do with those wins and losses that defines who we are. If you build off your defeats and improve after your wins, you’ll be a lifelong learner. When you learn at work, you’re engaging with your work. And that’s one of the most important things you can do in life: Learn.

It’s important to know that acknowledging mall wins and small blocks of progress is super important. When you realize you’re making progress every day, you need to note when it’s happening and reward yourself. You’d be surprised at how many small wins you have in a day! After all, if you make enough bricks, you’ll soon have a wall of work you can be proud of.

Be Grateful

This lesson can be applied to almost any situation in life. Make it a point to stop and think about all the wonderful things in your life. You may not think of the car you need to constantly gas up or your bills as blessings, but they are. It’s hard to see sometimes, but a lot of things you experience in life are opportunities others never even see.

Running water and a loving family shouldn’t be ignored. And being grateful may make you appreciate your job more. You may not go to work the next day shouting the praises of your boss from the mountaintops, but you may realize that your life is really excellent in the grand scheme of things. And you’ll be happier for it.

Stay Hydrated

When you’re not having a good day, it’s easy to think that all the bad mojo and events that are happening to you are caused by external events. The boss is picking on you today. Nobody is being cooperative. Nobody at the meeting was paying attention to your presentation. While some of these things may be true, they may not be as bad as you perceive it.

It’s a proven fact that staying hydrated helps boost emotions, so consider it an easy way to make yourself feel better while helping your body at the same time. If you stay hydrated with water during the day, the bad things probably won’t seem as bad as you may think. They may only seem like the end of the world because you’re cranky.

Try Not to Multitask

This may not be possible in some work scenarios — sometimes multitasking is just part of the job. However, just because multitasking is involved doesn’t mean there’s no way to do it successfully and efficiently. Most of the time, you’re given multiple tasks to complete at work. And you may have to juggle multiple things at once. If this sounds like you, you’ll want to try and focus on one thing at a time.

Concentrating on one job instead of ten will greatly help your effectiveness at work. Focus on one of your tasks and give it all of your attention. If you do this, you’ll be able to complete the task and then move on to the other tasks you have to complete.


That, combined with the other tips we’ve talked about today, should help you stay on the bright side and view your career more positively.


Lexie Lu is a freelance web designer and blogger. She keeps up with the latest web design news and always has coffee in close proximity. She writes on Design Roast and can be followed on Twitter @lexieludesigner.