by Ryan Bridges
Nailing your targets, getting promoted, or exploring new business ideas are all moments that contribute to a sense of fulfillment and enjoyment at work. But get caught up too much in the professional side of what makes you happy at work and you risk neglecting the little human details that can make all the difference.
Indeed, as many businesses are starting to figure out that the whole work-life balance thing doesn’t end at the front door, many are developing ideas on how the stuff that keeps us contented in our personal time can be applied at work. If you’re looking for fresh ideas on how to keep your colleagues and yourself happy at work, you might do well to forget about trendy modern-office techniques and look instead to the traditional rituals that different cultures have used to find peace in their everyday lives.
Today we are counting down stress-relieving strategies from ten parts of the world, that help in small ways for you to be happier at work.
Japanese forest-bathing and Norwegian friluftsliv, for example, involve the art of returning to nature to breathe in the goodness and make contact with the great outdoors. Getting out of the office, whether that means a stroll in the park on your lunch break or a group trip for a walk-and-talk ideas meeting, can help you to keep things in perspective. The Hawaiian philosophy of ho’oponopono, on the other hand, requires more of a change on the inside: slowing down to process your own emotions about a difficult work situation and making peace with yourself before a confrontation.
The German ideal of gemütlichkeit is about celebrating togetherness with beer and/or a song. It can be easy to take those workplace faces for granted day after day – try to think of ways you can bond together and celebrate the things you share.
The Spanish siesta will already be familiar with most and is already encouraged in some workplaces. The French aperitif is a great way to wind down and take stock after work, even if you all go your separate ways to eat your evening meal.
Argentine mate and Bosnian kafa are tea- and coffee-drinking rituals, respectively. In both cases, there’s not much to it – a particular specialty of tea and method of cooking the coffee, and then a gentle moment with friends (or colleagues) to slow down, catch your breath, discuss the day’s affairs, and strengthen your friendship.
The Turkish art of keyif is more of an individual affair. Each person must find their own keyif moment: a few minutes alone in a special place to relax and engage with your surroundings. While mindfulness can help throughout the day, a moment of keyif is the cherry on the cake.
And Nigerian ubuntu is the philosophy of being stronger as an individual by prioritizing the group. You get what your give: making decisions of all sizes based on the benefit or otherwise for other members of the community will contribute to the general happiness and well-being of your team.
To encourage the use of these ideas in your workplace, try sharing these new illustrations of the above national philosophies with your colleagues.
You spend half your waking week at work – it’s time to start treating it as a fundamental part of your quality of life.
What rituals do you and your team practice to be happier at work? Tell us in the comments below!