More Bad Days at the Office
How often do you have bad days at the office? If you’re like most people it turns out that you’re increasingly unhappy at work. A recent study reported by one of my favorite Positive Psychology researchers confirms that 2 out of 3 people have at least one bad day at work per week. Yup, per week.
That sounded like a lot of people to me. Just to note, this study is based on just 700 respondents, so they are extrapolating based on these responses. So although it’s not completely scientific, that seems like quite a few people who dread going to work.
Understandably there are more people classified as ’employees,’ who are unhappy in comparison to management and executive leadership. But even at the management level over 28% of the respondents reported being unhappy at work more than one day per week.
If the goal is to increase your happiness at work and you’re not in a position to change the way things are at your job, you have only a couple of options. You can continue to do what you’re doing and get the same results. You can get a new job and leave the environment. Or you can change your perceptions and actions to drive better results exactly where you are.
I remember an experience in a corporate position working with new technology required to support a customer request. Things didn’t work the way the product team had instructed. Timelines and deliverables were missed. There was nothing I could do about it, despite all my and other team member’s best efforts. Talk about bad days.
Dealing with these issues for more than a couple of days in a row was tough. I had to deploy some key strategies to stay as positive as possible while in the middle of the situation. This included taking few walks in outside in fresh air to gain clarity after a series of unproductive conference calls.
Coming back to the next discussion with a clear head helped me realize it was better to come clean and tell the customer we couldn’t do this. In previous situations management would advise us to push and try to figure out how to somehow meet whatever requests were made if it meant we’d close the deal.
But often if we won these deals like this, they were tough to implement. This time I suggested we let this effort go and deal with the decision. The call with the customer was uncomfortable, but they understood our position and advised they would let us know their decision. A couple of days later we were awarded award the project, despite the fact that we couldn’t meet one of their requests.
Taking the time to take a short walk outside helped to clear my head during this seriously bad day on the job. I am sure it helped me make a better decision. And it’s not surprising since research shows it to be true. So let me ask you, does stepping outside for a walk when you’re having a bad day help to clear your head, too?