It may seem like the better you are at your job, the more you’ll enjoy it, but this correlation can actually go both ways. According to this Inc. study on workplace performance, an increase in job satisfaction can boost overall productivity by 6.6% per hour. People who love their job end up being not only happier with their lives overall, but are also more likely to receive raises and promotions. Whether you already love your job or struggle to find passion for what you are doing, these tips will help you increase your job satisfaction and, in turn, your performance:
Prioritize Your Health
The importance of well being on the rest of your life is common knowledge, yet a lot of busy professionals neglect to put their health first. This article says, “the idea isn’t just to become a person who hates their job with fancy muscles, but to allow your physical and mental needs to take precedence.” Find a kind of exercise you enjoy, whether it be hitting the gym every day after work or just committing to hiking every weekend. Getting your heart rate up will improve your mood, cognitive function, and the quality of your sleep. Your nutrition is equally as important, and doesn’t have to break the bank. What you eat dictates how you feel, so ditch the fast food and start eating fresher and more nutrient dense meals. Check out websites like Pinterest for some easy and healthy meal inspiration. Putting your health first will not only increase your overall mood and quality of life, but also your ability to concentrate and focus at work.
Find Work-Life Balance
Work-life balance is another goal that many people have, but not everyone chooses to actively work towards. If you are a workaholic, this doesn’t have to happen all at once. According to this blog post, you can get closer to achieving balance will small steps, such as not answering your work phone or email when you’re spending time with friends and family. Putting friends and family first when you’re off the clock will make you feel like you have more ownership over your life and will keep your personal relationships healthy. It is also a good idea to try to dedicate yourself to a few hobbies outside of work that will take your mind off of of your job. Take realistic steps away from letting work control your life and you’ll end up feeling more fulfilled.
Be Friends With Your Coworkers
Culture is a large part of what determines your happiness at work, so make sure you like being around the people you spend 40 hours a week with. If you are not vibing with anyone on your team or in your department, try exploring a little and grabbing coffee with people you don’t interact with as much. Having some pals to grab lunch with or chat about work with will give you something to look forward to on your way to work. A Forbes study also found that as team bonds strengthen, productivity increases 31-37%. You don’t necessarily have to hang out with your coworkers outside of work or be their best friend, just be sure that you have a good rapport with some of them. If you’re really struggling to make connections, you might want to check out this post on how to deal with annoying coworkers. Perhaps once you learn how to deal with them, befriending them won’t seem as hard.
Consider Taking a Pay Cut
Yes, taking a pay cut may seem like a ridiculous suggestion, but it can actually benefit you more than you would think. Don’t storm into your supervisor’s office demanding less money, but really consider if there are any trade-offs you could make in exchange for a chunk of your salary (if you can afford it). For example, if you have a long commute, you could take a decrease in pay in exchange for having increased flexibility to work remotely. Or if you find yourself frequently working overtime, you could take a paycut to decrease your overall workload. Think about any benefits or flexibility you might be missing out on and how you could gain them by giving up part of your salary. By prioritizing your needs and happiness over your paycheck, you will find yourself enjoying your work a lot more. In fact, this study shows that only 8.5% of people working full time said that they would not be willing to take a salary cut, while 42.97% said they would be eager to decrease their pay if it meant more flexibility. Consider what you could gain by making less money.
Provide Social Support
According to a study by positive psychology expert Shawn Achor, social support is one of the most important factors in determining happiness and stress-levels in the workplace as well as life expectancy. Additionally, he found that giving social support is actually more correlated with satisfaction than receiving it, as people who provided more social support to their coworkers were found to be 10 times more engaged at work and 40% more likely to receive a promotion. So in addition to befriending your coworkers, make sure you are also going out of your way to make positive contributions to their lives. Invite them to lunch, organize a social activity, shoot someone an email when they do something awesome, and smile at them in the hallways. These simple and easy acts will eventually become habitual, and your coworkers will recognize you as a great person to work with. You won’t only be making them happier, you’ll also be improving your own happiness.
In the end, there is a lot you can do to differently in order to increase your job satisfaction. Once the steps above start to become more and more routine, you should notice yourself becoming more excited to go to work and being more productive while you’re there. For more information on the profound importance of happiness, check out this interview with Shawn Achor.