You probably spend more time with work colleagues than you do loved ones.
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It’s a sobering thought, but with eight hour days the bare minimum for modern workers, there’s no escaping the fact that our careers form a colossal part of our lives.
But what if you’re desperately unhappy with your job? What if every day feels like the end of the world as soon as you wake and realize it isn’t the weekend?
You only get one chance at this life, which is why the following five elements of ultra-happiness at work should be within sight:
It pains me to start here, but research suggests it’ll take 170 years to eradicate the pay gap and employment opportunity disparity between men and women.
If that’s true, we clearly need to do more to ensure equality at work.
And if you feel let down by your employer on these grounds, make a (big) noise about it – or find somewhere that appreciates you for the contribution you make.
2. Brilliant Management
We’ve all had managers whose doors are either physically closed or metaphorically bolted shut.
Brilliant management isn’t about dictating what everyone should do, apportioning blame or spending more time on the golf course than in the office – it’s about being there for every employee, leading from the front and inspiring the team.
There’s nothing quite like the feeling one gets from knowing the manager’s door really is always open.
3. A Meaningful Role
Work is there primarily to pay the bills, but that doesn’t mean it should be approached like a robot.
To be truly happy when you enter your place of work, you need to feel like you’re making a difference.
Every task you complete, decision you undertake and interaction you have should mean something to you, the business, and, most importantly, the customer.
If you’re feeling unfulfilled at work, it’s probably because you’ve been dealt a role that lacks purpose.
4. Low Employee Turnover
People leave businesses – that’s a fact of life. And, if it happens for the right reason (for instance, a retirement or desire to head into a different industry), who’s to tell them otherwise?
However, if people are constantly leaving the business for which you work and you’re forever writing ‘good luck’ cards, something’s wrong.
Put it this way: despite plenty of species bouncing back, planet Earth is losing them at 1,000–10,000 times the natural rate.
That isn’t sustainable in nature and it definitely isn’t sustainable in business.
Do you want to be part of a business that goes extinct?
Find a place to work where the culture is harmonious and deeply embedded within the business itself.
5. Flexible Working
Although not possible in every role or industry, the days of working a regular 9-5 at the same desk five days a week are long gone for many businesses.
Work-life balance is incredibly hard to get right unless you have some flexibility in your role.
The ability to work from home when it’s convenient to do so and apply your hours dynamically throughout the week will give you more time to spend with the people you love.
Flexible working could be a key element missing from your job description.
You spend an awfully long time at work. Make that time count!