We spend more waking hours at work with our team than we do with our families. Scary, yet true; so why are so many people unhappy on the job? I remember two statements I first heard in the 1970s and they both started with the phrase, “By the time the ‘computer’ gets here we will…”

  1. Be working in a paperless workforce.
  2. All be working less than 30 hours per week.


5 COMMON BARRIERS TO BEING HAPPY AT WORKObviously, neither of these ideas have become true. We use more paper today than ever and the average number of hours we work each week, according to a 2012 report from the Bureau of Labor & Statistics, averages 44 hours. Many of my clients say they average nearly 60 hours per week, which now includes about 10 hours per week working remotely.

This may be one reason we are unhappy at work. Here are five common actions that some people take that keep them from being happy at work:

  1. Taking things too seriously. It has been said that self-deprecating humor is a great way to make yourself more influential. We must be able to laugh at ourselves, because if we are can’t, others most definitely will.
  2. Focusing on the past. Too often, we bring ourselves down by thinking more about the past rather than focusing on the future. Remember, the past is done and we cannot do anything about it.
  3. Comparing themselves to others on the team. Because we all learn and develop differently, those who compare their progress and success with others on their team tend to develop negative self-talk that affects performance.
  4. Obsessing over things out of their control. While being informed is a great asset, don’t burden yourself with things that you can’t control.
  5. Over-committing to the team. We all want to be a good team member and go the extra mile. However, when we try take on too much, we may create disappointment for everyone, including ourselves.

Because we are working longer, and in many cases bringing work home, it is essential to be happy at work. It has been said that if you do what you love to do you will never work another day in your life.

Image courtesy of tec_estromberg

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