Friday Faves is our weekly blog series highlighting a few select pieces from the REG team’s reading lists. You can catch up on past Friday Faves on the archive

Rediscover joy at work

Jakkii says: It was only a couple of months ago that I last shared an article relating to finding and practising joy in our Friday Faves, yet here we are again! This week, I want to look at how to rediscover joy at work.

I think the summary at the top of the HBR article this week does a great job putting the issue into stark focus:

A year and a half of the Covid pandemic has left many of us bereft of the joy we once felt at work. Add to the losses we’ve suffered the constant need to present ourselves as more “okay” than we really feel and the requirement to always be in response mode rather than pursuing the work we most enjoy and it’s no wonder that we’re mired in malaise.

I don’t know about you, but I find that really relatable. As the pandemic drags on, as borders remain closed, people remain in lockdown or under restrictions, a year and a half on not much feels like it’s changed besides our collective sense of tiredness and, to borrow from the article, our general malaise. It’s tough, and while it is absolutely valid to have negative feelings, it can also be helpful to work at how we can rediscover more positive feelings, especially at and about work which accounts for so much of our daily lives.

To help us rediscover joy, the HBR article suggests we need to do the following:

  • Build your strengths into your day

  • Focus on your professional growth

  • Share your emotions with a trusted colleague

  • Rebuild relationships through the work itself

These ring true to me, even as a layperson – it makes sense to bring things you’re good at into your day as these can help us feel better about ourselves; focusing on learning and developing can also help with feeling like you’re bettering yourself and working to achieve a goal; sharing can often have a positive benefit to our own emotions as well as helping us bond with others; and relationships can help bring positive and joyful aspects to our lives. Of course, the author of the HRB article is an organisational and social psychologist with a PhD, so the whys and benefits are best explained in the article!

In addition to the four suggestions from the article, you may find that practising cognitive reappraisal – or reframing – can help, too, at least according to the findings of a recent study in Nature Human Behavior. This is all about changing our perspective and how we look at a problem, or even a negative feeling, such as loneliness.

Cognitive reappraisal works because “there’s a link between our thoughts and our feelings,” Kateri McRae, a University of Denver psychologist who studies emotion and who was not involved in this study, says. “A lot of times, our feelings are preceded by certain thoughts.” So when we shift our thoughts, that can precipitate a change in our emotions.

It’s a useful skill we don’t always do well at automatically, so it helps to consciously work at it.

I also came across an article on CNN this week about how to fix your job so you love it, which says you need to follow these three steps:

  1. Hack your job

  2. Enjoy your work neighbours

  3. Create a new job title in your head

I’m not sure these suggestions themselves have as much rigour behind them, however, when you distil them down they broadly tend to fit into the suggestions from the HBR article, so I don’t think they’re too far off the mark, even if not entirely scientific!

Ultimately, the best strategies are going to be ones that work for you. What’s most important if you’re feeling like you could stand to rediscover joy at work – or even in day to day life – is to give them a try. And, of course, if you need more help than a few articles, reach out to your doctor or to your mental health professional for more help with coping strategies.

Let’s bring back the joy!

Read:

At home

Jakkii says: whatever the pandemic state you’re living in right now, we’ve got your weekly list of a few things you can read and do from home this week to help you stay sane while you’re staying safe and staying home. Look after yourselves!

Friday Fives

Hybrid workplace and the future of work

Remote work and the digital workplace

Communication, collaboration, engagement, and culture

Community management, moderation and misinformation

Privacy and data

Big Tech, tech and regulation

Social media

Facebook & Ray-Ban

Extras

This is interesting: How a duck learned to say ‘you bloody fool’

Things that make you go hmmm: Meet Altos Labs, Silicon Valley’s latest wild bet on living forever

Space: SpaceX’s all-civilian Inspiration4 crew readies for launch

Podcast: How Slack changed Apple’s employee culture, with Zoë Schiffer

Friday playlist: Get a head start on Townie Music Trivia with this trivia prep playlist, updated each week

Sydney Business Insights – The Future, This Week Podcast

This week: we’re back and what does #BreakUpBigTech have to do with your chicken? There’s also Abba-tars, Gartner all hype no cycle, Musk’s humanoid robots and laser weed zapping ones, COVID AI disappointment, the IPCC report and everything else we’ve missed.

Sandra Peter (Sydney Business Insights) and Kai Riemer (Digital Futures Research Group) meet once a week to put their own spin on news that is impacting the future of business in The Future, This Week.

The stories this week

16:23 – What does break up big tech have to do with breaking up big chicken?

Listen: https://sbi.sydney.edu.au/break-up-big-chicken-on-the-future-this-week/


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