Not everyone is lucky enough to love their job. Some people spend their workday in the job of their dreams, have a super work-life balance and follow their passion within a supportive work environment.
While others suffer an indescribable dread on Monday morning when the alarm goes off. Starting another week of overwhelming demands, conflict with management and poor communication with team members is enough to cause the snooze button to be pressed more than once. Throw in some job uncertainty and you have a recipe for not going in at all.
In Australia, approximately half of working people identify work as a source of stress. Many people also see work demands as a barrier to maintaining a healthy lifestyle. These statistics suggest that not only are many people not enjoying work because of excessive demands placed on them but believe that work stress rolls over to their personal life. They feel it affects everything.
But it’s not just workplace stress causing unhappiness. It goes both ways.
Personal problems can affect work, work problems can affect personal life. People who are not looking after their own psychological wellbeing have a harder time at work, and workplaces who are not looking after their staff, have employees who are not thriving nor performing at the best.
Given that many of us spend most of our life at work, it makes sense that we try and be happy there. The way we feel tends to play out in the place where we spend most of our time, and for most of us that means at work.
From a workplace point of view, having happy staff generally leads to a more successful workplace. Happy staff also end up being more successful in every area of their life.
In the current economy it is tempting for people to suggest that people be thankful for even having a job. But it doesn’t mean that people should have to deal with unsupportive working conditions. The thing about economic downturns is that they eventually turn up and people move out of workplaces that don’t value them, and move into healthier more supportive workplaces that fit in with their life. Being aware that there is a problem is always the first step to changing for the better. So what does an unhappy workplace look like?
It could mean low morale in staff, so lack of confidence and enthusiasm is noticeable in usually upbeat staff members. Loyalty to the company is down. Costs are up in regards to providing health services such as counselling and mediation for employees.
Staff turnover is high and subsequently the cost of recruiting new staff is increased. Staff conflict is on the up as well as the noticeable absenteeism.
Unhappy staff are usually less motivated to go to work, or are chronically stressed which often leads to susceptibility to illness. More overtly, productivity and efficiency is lower than usual. So now we know what an unhappy workplace is, what can we do about it?
For employers it pays to look after your employees. For employees, it pays to look after your own wellbeing. Shared responsibility is the key. Everyone taking a role will pay off considerably.
As an employer, you can ask yourself what you can do to support the wellbeing of your staff. Workplaces can start implementing processes to create a culture of not only physical health, but psychological health, teaching staff resilience skills, as well as intertwining individual wellbeing efforts with workplace objectives.
On the flip-side, workers can take steps to look after their health outside of the workplace. You will find that you are in control of much more than you think. You are much more than your job.
Happiness in your life can bring success in your job. Happiness at work can bring success in your life.
It pays to work on both.