Bread must be put on the stove, the stove must be lit: unless you have a good inheritance, or have won the lottery (or both), you will have to work for your money. And it is nice if it is a bit bearable to drag yourself to the office every day. It turns out that about half of the Dutch are not happy in their work. That is of course very unfortunate, because you spend a large part of your week on this. What can you change yourself to make your job more fun? In short, how do you make yourself happier at work?

# 1. Provide sufficient challenge

The challenge must be at the correct level. The best jobs have a level where you are always in the so-called zone of immediate development. This means that there is always a new challenge for you, but one that is feasible. You do not work below your level, but also not above your capacity. By always having a challenge in your work, you automatically develop sense and energy to get started in the morning. 

# 2. Interaction with colleagues

You are worthy colleagues. You cannot escape it: interaction with your colleagues. Whether it’s the obligatory chat at the coffee machine or the collaboration within a workgroup and the office hierarchy – work becomes much more fun if you can get through one door well with your colleagues. If your colleagues really dislike you, this will eventually affect your happiness in your work. Even if your current position pays well, it is still worthwhile to take a look at a company with nicer people. 

# 3. Be appreciated by your boss

The same goes for your boss. Does your boss give you appreciation and support? Can he teach you something and give you the challenges and assignments you are looking for? Or is there no land to sail with your boss? Again, that is reason enough to consider a new position. 

# 4. Flexwork

If you are depressed by the white walls and the view of bare high-rise buildings at your workplace, check out the options for flexible working. Maybe you can also fulfill your tasks from a nice coffee tent. Or go to work at home for part of the week.

# 5. Organize your days yourself

 With a little luck you can also organize your working day yourself. Maybe you work much better in the evening than when you get out of bed at 6am. Or you work much more concentrated if you are going to do something completely different at noon. Discuss the options with your employer.

# 6. Provide confidence

 Do you feel safe with your job perspectives? Or do you keep your job mainly because you are afraid you can’t find another one? If so, it is very perspective to look for new functions. Just to orient you – but you can certainly apply for a job or two as an experiment. You may find that there are actually many opportunities for someone with your talents and qualifications. That science can reassure you and help you to put the sharp edges of your current job into perspective. After all, you know that there are alternatives. 

# 7. Say “no”!

Dare to say “stop”. Just because you’re under contract with a company doesn’t mean you have to swallow everything. If you experience stress or don’t have enough time for other important things in your life, ring the bell. Stop accepting unpaid overtime. Reduce the number of hours in the week. Ask for a salary increase or better conditions. And subtly point out to your boss that certain tasks you perform are not in your contract. Saying no is a trick, but an important one to master.

# 8. Provide an inspiring working environment

Improve your work environment. Creating a nice place to work can also help you become happier. Buy or arrange and more comfortable office chair. Provide an attractive decoration for your office space. Listen to music while you work and have lunch more often at that nice place around the corner. Life is a party – but you have to hang the streamers yourself. And that also applies to your work.  

Are you happy at work? Let us know in the comments below!