Apart from being confined to your bed with a bad illness (everyone hates the flu), when do you think we are the least happy?
Many of you probably already know the answer to this: when you are at work! According to a study published in The Economic Journal, researchers at the University of Sussex and the London School of Economics, looked at over one million responses from the smarthphone app, Mappiness, which gauges a person’s happiness by randomly asking them what they are feeling during certain activities. The study found that during work (compared to life outside of work) there is nearly an 8 percent drop in happiness… No doubt?
[Note: The researchers indicated that caution needs to be taking with the data due to the fact that mostly younger employed individuals or individuals in a full-time educational program were more likely to respond.]
Economist Dr. George MacKerron (creator of Mappiness) said, “It is common to hear people say that they enjoy their work, but the Mappiness data show that people are happier doing almost anything other than working. Although we may be positive about our jobs when reflecting on the meaning and purpose they give us, and the money they provide, actually engaging in paid work comes at a significant psychological cost. It appears that work is highly negatively associated with momentary wellbeing: work really is disutility, as economists have traditionally assumed. At any given moment, we would rather be doing almost anything else.” That’s some interesting stuff!
Making Work More Enjoyable
Work can get monotonous if we simply sit in our cubicle the entire day only engaging with our computer screens. Here are few simple ways to help liven up your work day and help you make it go by faster:
Get Up and Active
One of the best ways to give yourself a break or to help clear your mind, is to occasionally get up and take a stroll around the office. I’m not saying to not work for lengthy periods of time, but take 5 minutes to walk to the bathroom or walk to the breakroom area! This will help break up your day and give you a clear perspective as you head back to your desk.
Use Your Lunch Break Wisely
Many of us have a one hour lunch break and many of us simply waste it by heading to the local fast food joint. Instead use this time to get in some exercise to help clear your mind and get you ready for the second half of the workday. A 30 minute workout is a great way to burn off some stress that you have built up throughout the morning. Plus, when your mind is completely off of work, the second half of the day will go by way faster!
Don’t Be a Grinch
We all know those people in the office that don’t talk to anyone and keep to themselves. While many people do have social anxiety issues, many people simply don’t want to interact with their coworkers because they don’t want to be there. That’s really no way to look at it. If you are literally going to be spending 8+ hours a day with these people you might as well build fun relationships. This will ensure the day doesn’t crawl by so slow. Time flies with you are having fun… more fun… right?
Yes, many of you out there really really dislike being at work but for many of us it is frankly a part of life! Why not make the most of it? Start by getting up and taking quick breaks to break up the day, be smart about your lunch break, and learn more about your coworkers! Make the most of it!