Opinion

My “rules” of working happy

Yesterday, a friend texted me about an insane situation at her work place. Emotions running high, communications breaking down, exhaustion and frustration setting in. My text back: Observe over engage. Not everything needs an immediate response. It’s the action-oriented view of “important vs urgent”. Full disclosure: sometimes we give the advice we need to hear.

Our text exchange did get me thinking: what are my “rules” for workplace happiness? My manifesto is for happiness in all areas of my life, yet a happy corporate life requires its own subset of directives. Here’s what 20+ years of working and an obsession with pop culture has taught me so far:

  • Follow the Jersey Shore teamwork approach: disagree, argue and be annoyed with each other in your own house. Outside that house, have each other’s backs, period.
  • Work weekends only if Voldemort returns. Be ruthless in keeping time to yourself, for your family and so you can recharge, recover and have interests outside of the office. You’ll be a better employee for it and do better work in the long run.
  • Don’t wear pink on Wednesdays. Unless you want to. But giving up too much of yourself to fit into someone else’s mold of success will always fail you.
  • Compete and be kind at the same time. If the contestants on Great British Bake-Off can each want to win and help each other out while being judged, we can do it, too.

What are your personal guidelines for staying happier at work?

Journal Prompts
I know I’ve had a good day at the office when…
What are you thinking as you walk towards your office door at the beginning and end of each day?

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