If you work a typical 9-5, you’re spending at least a third of your day at work! Hours wise that’s at least 40 hours a week, 160 hours a month and 2080 hours a year! That’s a lot of time! Nowadays many people are working more than one job and extra hours too. On top of that, when you factor in commute time, we really do spend a good chunk of our lives at work. Therefore, don’t you think we should make our work life as happy, healthy, and rewarding as the rest of our lives? With a shortage of workers and employers searching for great employees, and trying to keep their employees, now is the perfect time to make your work life your best life!
If you love your job, GREAT! This is really one of the largest pieces to the puzzle! Think about it, if you are doing tasks and duties you really don’t enjoy, each day will be miserable before you even start! If you used to love your job and now you’re falling out of love, remember what drew you to it in the first place. Sometimes we get so swept up in our work we forget what makes it meaningful. Yet if you aren’t happy at work and not enjoying or finding fulfillment, it’s probably time to look for something new.
In general, if we don’t like what we are doing we probably aren’t doing it that well either. Employers don’t want that for you or themselves! Employers want to see their employees take pride in their work and thrive. They don’t want all those hours of their vetting process to be for not, – they want to see you succeed. Often employers even look for employees that they know will grow and excel within their company. Therefore, communication at work is key. Talk to your manager, supervisor or human resources team if something doesn’t seem right, you aren’t happy or maybe just need more support. Open communication means you can both help each other! Instead of being stressed or worried ask for a meeting. Instead of struggling, see if you can find a common ground to fly to new heights.
For many people, they like their work, but sometimes the environment isn’t great. Every workplace comes with many people and with that many personalities. Sure, these are just your coworkers, but if you are going to spend at least a third of your time with them, it’s worth trying to make it pleasant and fun. Get to know who you work with, ask them about their families, pastimes, etc. Perhaps you don’t always see eye to eye on projects, but who doesn’t like to share about their pets or an upcoming trip? If you find your coworkers are the opposite, and always oversharing or going too far into your personal life, set boundaries. Keep small talk to breaks and mealtimes. Start every day with a hello and well wish and then if you need to say you will follow up on break, or you’d love to hear more about things after work, do it. Sure, we aren’t at work to socialize, but a little enthusiasm can go a long way. Find your balance of engaging and still performing well too.
Now even if you love your job and everyone you work with, we all need breaks. From the 15 minutes your workplace might offer each morning, to vacations and holidays. Workplaces know that you need breaks! They want you to take them. They want you to take a walk on your break, eat a healthy lunch and take time off if you aren’t feeling well or want to take a trip. Everyone knows that a burnout employee also puts out lesser quality work and can be harder to communicate with. Taking breaks lets us all feel refreshed, rejuvenated and more productive. Sometimes a week at home can be just what you need to feel revived at work. Other times taking a walk at lunch can be just what you need to get through the day. Take your breaks!
Did you know that our individual health impacts the whole office? It’s true! Each employee has an impact. Think about it, if all the employees you work with are lazy, unhealthy and unmotivated, it’s hard to ignore that vibe. Workplaces where people take their health and wellness seriously also tend to be more upbeat, positive and fun. Be the employee who comes to work feeling well. You can do that by getting enough sleep, eating well, managing stress and exercising regularly. You may even find these things bond you and other employees at work. Many workplaces will offer you wellness programming (North Country Hospital has received multiple awards for theirs). These programs encourage and reward employees to take ownership over their own health, because they know healthy employees make healthy workplaces. Ask your employer about their worksite wellness options. They may also offer onsite counseling, fitness facility discounts and more!
Sometimes we just burn out. Yes, burnout is real and it’s unpleasant. Maybe its time to go back to school to learn about new careers or to shift your focus and believe it or not, your employer may help you pay for it. North Country Hospital isn’t the only employer who helps pay for continuing education. Many businesses support and encourage their employees to be lifelong learners. If you are thinking about studying something new, reach out to your manager or human resources team to see what might also benefit your worksite. They may have some great ideas for ways you can climb the ladder right at your current workplace.
In the end, we work a lot, and the reality is life isn’t cheap! Kids, cars, rents, and pretty much everything costs money. Work offers us a way to provide for those needs, but it can be so much more! A career can make you feel fulfilled, it can offer you opportunities to serve your community, be part of lasting change and add reward to your life all along with your paycheck. Don’t waste your work time being unhappy or unhealthy! There really are people who love their jobs, and you can too. What can you do to make your work time also be your happy time? It’s time we all made our work life our best time!
Director of the Wellness Center