While your long-term goal might be to work for yourself, it’s essential to build positive experiences, no matter what your current experience is at the moment. So before you start tearing down posters, smashing printers or cleaning a fish at your desk a la Office Space, try some of these tips below to bring yourself into a more contented state of mind in the workplace.
Dress the part
Buy yourself some new work clothes (budget permitting), shoes and/or accessories that make you feel confident. You could aim to try a new boutique or online shop each time you indulge in a retail therapy session. Clothes don’t necessarily make the man or woman, but a more dressy, formal outfit can do wonders for your productivity and image during office hours.
Communicate like an adult
Here’s a surefire way to remain unhappy with your work situation: you’re full to the brim with frustrations and complaints about your boss or coworkers, and all you do is gossip with other coworkers or complain to your friends (who are probably tired of hearing it). Stop complaining and go DO something about it. If you’re afraid of discussing the problem face to face, try writing a polite email to address the issue at hand. Get a colleague or friend to read it over first to make sure it doesn’t sound too aggressive. Some of your frustrations may simply arise from a miscommunication that can easily be cleared up. If it’s your boss who is bothering you, you should be able to ask him or her for a short meeting so you can have a proper time to calmly discuss your problem. Office politics are tricky, no doubt, so if you can’t go directly to the person who is bothering you, go to your HR person and see what they have to say.
Jazz up your desk
Decorate your workspace so it’s an inspiring, comfortable and aesthetically pleasing place to be for 8 hours a day. Get a bunch of cool plants to refresh your space, keep you more productive and lower your anxiety levels. Make sure you have an ergonomically sound chair, or even better, convert your desk into a standing desk–it’s not only way healthier than sitting down all day but also keeps you more alert.
Some of the big tech companies have zen rooms in the office where you can go in and meditate, take a short nap, do yoga or simply get away from office chaos for a moment. If your office doesn’t have a space like this, ask your boss if one can be created in an unused room. You could also just take breaks outside for some fresh air and sunshine, to stretch and to get a change of scenery. If you need music to maintain office zen, treat yourself to a good set of headphones and spend time creating or searching for the perfect chill-out playlists.
Be an early bird
Get to work early (try 30 minutes to an hour) one day, and see if that helps you feel less overwhelmed or stressed out about the day ahead. Added bonus: your boss will be impressed by your motivation, which can lead to many good things.
As much as you may feel like hiding in your cubicle all day, being socially engaged in the workplace should actually be your priority. Because we are social animals, our productivity in the office is quite affected by our office relationships. Challenge yourself to say ‘yes’ to just one after work event or an invite from coworkers for lunch or happy hour. It’s always nice to have fun things to look forward to if you aren’t really enjoying your work day. If there isn’t anything going on, be proactive and start your own weekly after work hangouts or fun luncheons, where you try a new restaurant every week. You could even arrange a morning workout or yoga session so you all come into work together feeling fit and fabulous. When everyone around you is positive, it’s much easier for you to feel positive too.
If you find yourself starting to lose focus or care less and less about your day job, implementing at least one of these ideas could help you avoid a “case of the Mondays” any day of the week.