How to Enjoy Work in 12 Steps and Why Doing So Is Important

Updated November 5, 2022

As you likely spend a good majority of your time working, enjoying it can help you feel more satisfied with your life. If you enjoy what you do, you can minimize stress and improve your mental and physical health. While you may come across challenges, having strategies in place to help you find joy at work can help you overcome them. In this article, we discuss how to enjoy work in 12 different ways and explain why enjoying work is important.

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How to enjoy work

If you want to learn how to enjoy work, consider the following steps:

1. Manage your workspace

If you have a disorganized or unappealing workspace, you won't feel motivated to go to work. Start by organizing your office or cubicle by throwing away anything you don't need, wiping down your surfaces, and placing necessary items into drawers or cabinets. Working in a clean space can help you feel more relaxed and productive.

Once you clean, consider decorating your workspace. You can put up pictures of your family, friends, inspirational quotes, or landscapes to inspire you. Try to place pictures away from your screen so they don't distract you. You can turn to look at them when you have a break to help you refocus your attention.

2. Connect with your colleagues

Outside of your family and friends, you may spend the most amount of time with your colleagues. Try to find ways to connect with them so you can enjoy your time together while still maintaining a professional approach to your work. One way to do this is to get to know your team outside of the workplace. Suggest something simple, like going for lunch or coffee together to get to know each other. If you're in a leadership position, you may even suggest team bonding activities to encourage collaboration.

3. Find a purpose

If you're not sure what your purpose is at work, you may struggle to motivate yourself and enjoy your time. To find your purpose, assess your responsibilities and determine how your contributions affect the company's overall productivity. For example, if you perform market research, you may determine that your research helps the company's CEO make informed decisions when creating new policies and procedures. Finding your purpose at work can help you feel more appreciated, which can help you find enjoyment in your tasks.

4. Be optimistic

Your mindset can determine whether you enjoy your work. For example, if you wake up every day thinking you're going to have a tough day, you won't be excited or happy to go to work. Try to think more optimistically to improve your mood and overall feelings towards your career. There are plenty of ways to do this, such as meditating, writing in a gratitude journal, or surrounding yourself with positive people.

Related: A Comprehensive Guide on How to Be a Positive Thinker

5. Leave your work at work

If you have a lot of work to do or strict deadlines to adhere to, bringing your work home with you can be tempting. This may be necessary sometimes, but try not to make it into a habit. This can affect your work-life balance and cause you to resent your work as it's encroaching on your free time. Try to find ways to be more productive at work so you can complete your tasks and clear your mind when you're home.

6. Upgrade your skills

When you don't feel challenged, you may not enjoy your work as much as you used to. This can occur when you've had the same responsibilities for a long time. To counteract this, try to develop new skills or knowledge that can help you pursue new opportunities. For example, if you're a computer programmer, consider learning a new coding language on your own or through a course.

Related: How to Find a Good Job That You Enjoy (With 7 Steps)

7. Request new responsibilities

If you developed new skills or knowledge, consider pursuing additional responsibilities at work. You can talk to your manager about new responsibilities that you may find more challenging. If you're willing to pursue other opportunities, you can apply for a promotion at your current company or at another one. Pursuing more challenging opportunities can help you develop new skills and allows you to feel more accomplished, which can be more enjoyable.

8. Take regular breaks

If you have busy workdays, you may start to feel overwhelmed by all your tasks. While this may seem counterproductive, taking regular breaks can help you feel more relaxed. Schedule a lunch break every day and adhere to it so you can take time away from work and return feeling refreshed. Even short, five-minute breaks every hour or so can help you feel better. Consider taking a quick walk or going outside on your break to remove yourself from your work fully.

Try taking regular vacations as well. Utilize the vacation time you receive from your employer to unwind and separate yourself from your work. This motivates you to work hard when you're not on vacation and helps you enjoy your time more.

Related: Benefits of Taking a Break from Work to Reduce Stress

9. Work from home

If you can, consider working from home full-time or a few days a week. This gives you more freedom to choose how you spend your time and can help you connect with your family or roommates more during your breaks. You may also have more control over your work environment from home. For example, you can dedicate an entire room to your work to help you focus or create a more comfortable environment that you enjoy working in every day.

10. Change careers

If you've tried enjoying your current career but are having a hard time doing so, considering a career change may be a good option for you. This can help you find a fulfilling career you enjoy. You may develop new skills or gain new experience and knowledge depending on the type of career change you hope to make.

The two most common types of career changes are vertical and horizontal. Vertical career changes are typically promotions as you stay in the same industry but have new job responsibilities. For example, changing careers from a market specialist to a brand manager. A horizontal career change is when you stay at the same level but switch industries. An entry-level product designer becoming an entry-level marketer is an example of a horizontal career change.

Related: How to Make a Career Change at 50 (With Reasons and Tips)

11. Delegate when necessary

If you have too many tasks, you may start to feel overwhelmed. To limit this feeling and ensure you enjoy your time at work, try to delegate tasks when necessary. If you don't have the ability to do this yourself, talk to your manager about your workload and suggest ways to minimize it. This allows you to focus more on the tasks you have so you can produce high-quality work and enjoy your time.

12. Prioritize a good work-life balance

Work-life balance is when you prioritize both your work and your personal life. You may spend an equal or balanced amount of time completing professional responsibilities and personal activities. Having a good work-life balance allows you to complete your work and enjoy your free time so you can reduce stress and the chance of burnout. Signs of burnout include feeling stressed, overworked, and exhausted. If you recognize these signs, it may be a good time to assess your schedule and determine what changes you can make.

Related: A Helpful Guide to Having a Great Work-Life Balance

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Why is it important to enjoy work?

Although work isn't the main part of your life as you have family, friends, and hobbies, it's still a large part of where you spend your time. As most people work to earn a living, enjoying it can help improve your time. Enjoying your work can improve your mood and motivate you to become a better employee. This can help you feel more satisfied with your work and your contribution to the team.

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