Research undertaken by polling company Gallup in 2013 shows that that the majority of workers around the world consider themselves either “actively disengaged” or “not engaged” in their jobs.
Considering that the average full-time worker spends approximately 40 hours a week in their workplace, this is a disheartening finding and certainly something that should be treated seriously.
As Chris Barez-Brown discusses in his latest book Free! Love Your Work, Love Your Life, it is possible to feel more fulfilled in your work. But it doesn’t always mean changing jobs or careers. It could simply be your attitude and the way you deal with stress, conflict and challenges.
The ‘perfect job’ is a myth – there are positives and negatives to every role. According to Chris, ‘we need to change our relationship with work for us to be fulfilled, engaged and downright magnificent’
Here are some strategies Chris discusses in his book for reigniting your passion and reclaiming your freedom at work:
Consider working more flexible hours
Work-life balance can have a huge impact on your happiness in your job. The more balance, the better. If you’d like more time to yourself or to spend with family, strive for more flexible work conditions. These days it’s not uncommon to reduce your work hours, choose your own hours, work from home or job share with a colleague.
Don’t take work so seriously
Albert Einstein had it right when he once said “Play is the highest form of research”. Now we’re not talking about slacking off, but simply injecting the workplace with some fun, excitement and creativity. Don’t be afraid of sharing a sense of humour with colleagues or using games to brighten up and assist activities like brainstorming or meetings.
Don’t spread negativity with gossip
Gossiping with other staff and saying negative things about your colleagues or employer will only ever reflect poorly on you. It doesn’t fix your problems or the way you feel and simply creates bad energy and morale for others. If you need to vent and get advice, do it in private, outside of the workplace, with a close friend.
Stop constantly thinking about your next promotion
It’s great to have a goal to work towards, but if you’re only ever thinking about how to get that board position or rise the ranks at all costs, you can’t enjoy the now. Don’t just obsess over the destination – enjoy the journey and the challenges you overcome. Thinking too much about the job title you want in five years could be causing you to miss out on the great stuff in your present role.
Pause to think about the small things that drew you to the role in the first place, the things you have recently accomplished and the things you shouldn’t take for granted. Feeling appreciation for the good things can do wonders for your wellbeing.
Of course, if you’re feeling disengaged, it could be time to change jobs or consider an entirely new career direction. But there’s nothing stopping you from trying to improve your current work situation, even if it’s just for a transitory period.
Chris says it best when he writes ‘It’s your responsibility to make your job as good as it can be, so that you can be as good as you can be.’
Chris Barez-Brown is on a mission to bring creative leadership to the business world and beyond. After helping turn Carling Black Label into the first British billion pound brand, he joined What If!, the innovation and ideas agency. In 2009 he founded Upping Your Elvis, a business whose sole focus is to release the genius of organisations by helping their people shine more brightly.
You can learn more about how to enjoy your work in his book Free! Love Your Work, Love Your Life.