What makes you happy at work?

Read time | 4 minutes

Author | Hannah Brady, Ocee Design Marketing Manager

Have you ever been through a turbulent time in your career? Have you ever worked somewhere with a culture that doesn't quite align with your ambitions or values? Have you ever questioned whether you enjoy what you do anymore?


Yep. Me Too! Quite recently actually.


For the first time in about 12 months I am feeling really happy at work again. When it came to work, I had a relatively challenging year last year but with a very positive start to 2019 as a new member of the Ocee Design team, I have been thinking...


What makes me happy at work?


There is a lot to be said about work/life balance. A nice commute, having time to exercise regularly and getting home from work not feeling like you've done a weeks work in one day but its also invaluable to be in a workplace that makes you feel happy while you are physically there. After all, the average person does spend more time at work than at home throughout their lifetime.

So when you really think about it. Its pretty important that we are happy where we work.

With all of this in mind, I've been reflecting on what makes me happy at work and wanted to share some of the things at Ocee Design that have helped bring me back to my Happy place.


1. People

Surround yourself with gooduns!

Ultimately, you choose where you work. It's a choice. So if you are currently looking for a job, make sure you properly evaluate the culture and values of any potential new employers. It is so important to work somewhere where you see yourself getting on with others that work there. I'm very fortunate to work with like minded people. As a team we have a mixture of skills, personalities and professional backgrounds but when it comes to work, we all have the same end goal and, most importantly, we have a laugh while we do it.

VERY important :)


2. Music

I've always been the type of person who is most productive with music on in the background. Here are some of my current favourites for the office...

• The Chillhop Cafe playlist from Spotify - a mixture of jazzy & lofi hip hop

• Maggie Rogers - she's never released a bad track!

• Sam Fender Radio / Tom Misch Radio - both available on Spotify.

• Radio Monte Carlo 2 - recently recommended by a colleague. Love it!

• And of course... no matter the mood...FLEETWOOD MAC! :)


3. Plants

Now, you've probably been bashed over the head with this one or seen lots of people writing about it, but its true. Plants in the workplace do make people feel better. This article from Ambius covers it nicely. For me personally, its all about having a bit of the outside inside. It makes an office space feel more homely and the more comfortable I am in my work space, the better my work is.

A couple of tips that I have picked up recently...

• IKEA & B&Q indoor plants are great value for money

• A mixture of real and artificial plants is not a bad way to go if you are on a budget. Artificial plants are really good these days. Again, you can't go wrong with IKEA.


4. Flexible working

Being chained to a desk for 8 hours a day is not my idea of fun! I love working in an environment where I can move around and work in different spaces or quite simply, stand if I want to. It helps keep my mind fresh. For me, this type of working comes down to 2 things.

• A workplace culture that allows you to physically move and use different spaces when needed or desired.

• The right technology. For flexible working to be effective, it is so important that you have good connectivity, you can access your work from anywhere (the cloud) and that the machine you are using is reliable.


5. Comfortable and inspiring interiors

I definitely notice a distinct difference in my mindset, focus and output when the space around me is well designed, bright and comfortable to work in.

Now, this is a very subjective topic and everyone has different opinions on what a nice looking/comfortable workspace is so if you aren't sure where to start, I know a company that make some lovely things! ;) Take a look here.


oh, and come to think of it. One more thing!


Good music for the car in the morning! This never fails at getting me me to work in a good mood. :)

A few of my early morning favourites...

"Call me Al" Paul Simon | "Burning" Maggie Rogers | "Do I Do" Stevie Wonder | "Sunchyme" Dario G | "Paris" Friendly Fires | "Promises" Calvin Harris, Sam Smith | "Edge of Seventeen" Stevie Nicks | "Reelin' in the years" Steely Dan


So if you are reading this feeling unhappy where you work or as somebody within a business that is looking to improve wellbeing in the workplace, just take a step back and think about what makes you happy at work. Its highly likely that your colleagues around you will feel the same if not very similar.

The important thing to remember is that all of the above can be introduced to a workplace, no matter the budget.

It just sometimes takes time to sit back and really think about what makes us happy at work.

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