Make peace with your workspace

SPIRIT OF OFFICE

Make peace with your workspace

Reviving that sense of contentment, or at least peace, at workplace, is not all that hard when you make it a point to solve the basic problems, reckons   Meera Vijayann.

The average Indian workplace is no piece of heaven. High stress, long working hours, distrust and office politics are words that are commonly heard in conversations among twenty-somethings who are working in the city. As more young people enter offices for the first time, the idea of better ‘work ethics’ has become a priority in top companies to encourage and create healthy office environments. 

Stay open to learning

Repetitive organisational work tends to turn routine and mundane. But the intense feeling of demotivation can be overcome when you choose to challenge the passivity of the tasks you are involved in and make it active. Actively finding new and better ways to perform can not only help revive your creativity and get you back on the right track, it can also help you discover your strengths and weaknesses. A good way to learn something new is to cultivate positive relationships with your colleagues. This can go a long way in not only making work fun, but allowing people to share their insights and thoughts about the work you do. Growing within an organisation and charting out a career path often comes from learning – not by simply repeating what you do everyday. Take the initiative to engage, convey and empathise with your colleagues and you will be surprised how much it helps you grow. 

Make work purposeful

Let’s admit it. Sometimes, work is just uninspiring. And the truth is, the more we think about it, the more stressful it becomes. The reason this happens, studies have suggested, is because people often don’t understand “why” they are doing what they are doing. As a generation, the characteristics of Millennials have been written about extensively in the past few years. In India, the trend is no different with more young graduates entering the workforce and spending longer hours at work. Inexperienced graduates tend to jump at opportunities that are not right for them, and in no time feel unbelievably saturated with their work as there is a lack of challenges and scope. It is important to focus on the reasons that make your work valuable to you. This, in turn, will make your time and effort valuable to others too. Working without purpose can simply turn into a fruitless pursuit for mundane outcomes otherwise. 

Find your strengths

Yes, we all look up to those who have made it big; friends who have climbed the corporate ladder, colleagues who outperform every quarter and thought leaders who are often in the spotlight. Yet, we never once take a moment to believe that we can achieve just as much as the next person can. In a society that is driven by mediocrity, people often strive hard to show that they have exceptional skill and talent. The problem, however, is not that many of us lack talent at all. Rather, it is that we have not given a thought o what our strengths are and capitalised on them. Cheryl Dorsey, President of Echoing Green, a global non-profit, often talks passionately about her own journey to the top. Finding her way through several uninspiring jobs, stepping in and out of graduate programs ranging from medical school to policy and history, it was when she turned 38 that she eventually found where her heart lies. For most people, finding their passion or atleast strengths is not always easy to do, but who said that the best things in life come easy!

Don’t take home work

With work becoming global, and clients often demanding 24x7 responsiveness, it can become challenging when you have to take time out from personal activities. Most young employees today find it difficult to explain to their management where to ‘draw the line’. Setting boundaries early on what is acceptable and what is not with the management can help in allowing your co-workers and peers understand what they can expect from you. The best way to go about is to keep work to office alone and never take it home - including calls. If a certain “urgent project” comes after office hours, it is okay to work on it. But only once or twice. If that is the case every now and then, it is obvious that you are being taken for a ride, and you need to turn that down politely. Just saying, “Sure Sir/Madam, that will be the first thing I do when I get to office on Monday. Right now, I am occupied with a family commitment,” can do the trick. It isn’t unprofessional to demand what is your right.

With a little bit of an effort – be it as a team or as an individual – you can definitely shape a positive workspace that nurtures creativity, optimises your time, and incorporates better policies that are beneficial to all employees. As Denis Whitley once said “There are two primary choices in life: to accept conditions as they exist, or accept the responsibility for changing them.”

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