Could this be the secret to happiness at work? (Spoiler: this time it's not Gratitude)
I hear constant quips about work life balance and how to be happier at your workplace. It's the endless quest. We spend most of our time at work, so why wouldn't we want to be happier there? Now, you probably think I am going to say Gratitude at work is the key to happiness there. Well, you know me well. I do believe in that and wrote about how it can be a game changer. But that's not the secret today! Nope, the secret today isn't gratitude but it's something I am definitely grateful for.
Linkedin did a study about happiness at work and found that professionals at work are 46% happier AND more productive if they have a best friend or good relationships at work.
Yep, a BFF at work, a "work wife or husband", whatever you want to call it. It matters.
Think about it...
If you like people you spend most of the day with, you are going to feel better.
If you care more about the people you work with, you are going to want to do a better job.
Friends matter. They matter in all aspects of life. We know that people with friends who make healthier choices are themselves healthier. We know that the more connected we are, the longer we live.
Why wouldn't it matter to make the same bonds at work?
And ESPECIALLY if you are unhappy at work...Maybe it's time to get to know at least one person at work better? Go out after work, plan a weekend activity when you can get to know each other on a different level, find a way to make work more pleasant.
Now, I am very lucky. I am grateful that I work with people I call my "Work family" and with many of whom I spend time in my home, out and about in town, with our families together. I am truly grateful. But it becomes clear to me then why I am so happy to go to work.
I GET TO SEE MY FRIENDS!
So, if you already work with people you care about, great! And if you are unhappy at work or are wondering how you could even begin to make a friend there, let's work on it!
What if you just start by eating lunch with one person who seems nice enough? You could work your way to going out together after work or even having them over to your home.
And what about social media? Is there a way to harness its power here? I am not much on my personal FB page anymore but have many friends from work in my network there. And although at times I have felt reticent about accepting requests from residents whom I teach (and evaluate) or staff I work with, maybe it's a great way to get to know them in a different way. Maybe it's a way to learn what they care about in the world or more about their personality. And then you can connect in a different way next time you are together.
Whatever your mode, find a way to connect to someone or more than one person at work on more levels than just the project you work on together. Find a way to make a friend at work and make work more friendly. Make it more fun to go there everyday.
And if you already have one or more friends at work, congrats! Now, you know why it's so fun to go there. It makes you happier, more productive and all of that I think is what leads to work life balance.
Make your work more like your life and balance will come your way!
Live (and work) well,