Guest blog by Marie Loney, Executive Wellbeing and Leadership Development Coach
The past two years have seen workplaces evolve into hybrid working where employees command a better work life balance due to unprecedented labour shortages in the aftermath of the pandemic.
Office trends for 2022 indicate that employees are in the driving seat of their careers. Workers focus on positive company culture, healthy work-life balance and flexibility before selecting where and when they work.
‘There is Joy in work. There is no happiness except in the realisation that we have accomplished something.’ – Henry Ford
Look at your job from a new perspective
This is an opportune time to look at your job from a new perspective. Objectively contemplate your job, colleagues and company to explore how they compare with your values, beliefs and purpose.
Pause, make space to reset, reassess and reinvigorate your career. These choices will affect your joy with an existing company or new opportunities.
When you intentionally create a happier work environment you support yourself, your colleagues and the organisation. Research demonstrates that joy is an emotional response and is vital for our wellbeing, cognitive functioning and performance at work.
Joy at work results in improved physical health, decision making and goal setting, impacting positively on learning, development and growth. When you find joy at work, you radiate the joy that draws colleagues and leaders to you, supporting career progression and making you an invaluable asset to the company.
Generally, finding joy at work is more about striving for positive experiences by creating circumstances that release joyful moments in the workplace.
So how do you do it?
Here are three practical ways to find joy in your work:
Seek alignment between your purpose, passion, values and gifts. Research shows that individuals with high work purpose were ten times more likely to experience good overall wellbeing.
The purpose is a special gift that set you apart from others. Connect with like-minded people who move towards the same destination that supports your purpose. This drive will motivate you to get up in the morning.
Many variables that are at play when finding joy at work. We’ve all heard that nurturing a child’s interests holds the key to their career. This may be so, however, other qualities are important such as relationships with colleagues, the impact of leadership and the general culture of an organisation.
Pursue roles that support your growth and be open to exploring various options that are not necessarily affiliated with your interests.
3. Supporting Others
Scientific literature shows when you help people you are also helping yourself to improve your health and happiness. Studies illustrate that people who engage in acts of kindness that are casual and informal behaviours form social bonds that strongly affect their levels of happiness.
Pro-social behaviours such as co-operation, trust and compassion are necessary for a harmonious and well-functioning society that contributes to increased mental and physical health.
What if you’ve tried and you can’t find joy at work?
Start using the tools discussed above, implementing small incremental steps and stay committed to the journey through reflection and assessing each stage.
However, some workplaces are just toxic. What do you do then?
Here are some tips to help you navigate toxic workplaces:
- When you find yourself in a toxic situation, look for like-minded colleagues who are not selfish, judgemental and manipulative. Create a network of supportive people who you can trust. Discuss your challenges through candid conversations to support you through frustrating situations
- Stay focused on tangible goals and don’t get drawn into the toxic drama
- Shut down unhealthy conversations and refuse to participate in idle gossip
- Remember nothing lasts forever, believe the situation is temporary by actively looking for other work opportunities that align with your values, beliefs, purpose and goals
- Be polite when all around you are not. In toxic situations, it’s best to kill them with kindness. Refrain from stooping to their level and find supportive ways to add value to your interaction with others.
The secret to happiness at work goes far beyond the points discussed in this blog. However, these techniques may offer some alternative support that can prepare you to pursue happiness in your place of work or discover new opportunities that bring joy.
Marie Loney is the founder of Glow Consultancy London and a Wellbeing Executive Coach who supports professionals with their personal and career development goals.
Marie also advises leadership teams, supporting them with the creation and implementation of their business strategies.
Marie has multi-sector experience including beauty, fashion, education, medical communications, pharma, charity, tech & robotics, art, interior design, banking and media, among others. She has worked with UK and global companies, as well as professionals across Europe, US, Australia, Asia, Singapore, Africa and India.