We’ve all seen those inspirational posts floating around social media. They’re usually characterised by a misty nature scene resembling Middle-earth (probably stolen from a travel blogger’s Instagram account), containing a quote in a hipster typeface (probably downloaded from 1001 Fonts).
“Do what you love, and you’ll never work a day in your life.”
“At the end of the day, your feet should be dirty, your hair messy, and your eyes sparkling.”
Let’s be honest – they make us vom a little. Not because the words don’t carry any weight or substance, but because they reek of self-gratification, pretence, and insincerity. Society, at large, has become quite the expert at creating the perception that life’s a peach, when in actual fact, you’re scraping by on a crappy income, earned by slaving away at a 9-5 you hate.
Thing is – whether you’ve reached the upper echelons within your career field, or still climbing the corporate ladder, there are many quick and dirty tricks you can apply in the office to get the dopamine pumping, and make you want to show up for work in the morning. Here’s our Top 5 tips for office nirvana:
Respect is more than just an Aretha Franklin tune. In any working environment, there are going to be opposing views on various things, across various spectrums. There may be boys who like other boys, or girls who like other girls. There may be people who pray to a deity different to yours. There may be people who don’t pray to a deity at all. Some people may have political views that don’t align with yours. And while you may be into Slipknot, others may be more inclined toward Britney, bitch. And that’s OK. The secret lies in respecting each other’s differences. Friedrich Nietzsche said it best: “You have your way. I have my way. As for the right way, the correct way, and the only way – it does not exist.”
So, you’re on a roll. You’ve written that emailer copy you’ve been tasked to do. Client has signed off on those digital banners. WeTransfer links have been sent. CEs have been approved. All before noon! Time to kick back, relax, and watch that YouTube doccie about the general demise of planet earth post One Direction, right? Wrong. You’re here to do a job. Offer your help to the team that’s currently drowning. It breeds goodwill, and like paying your TV License, it’s the right thing to do.
Epic office wars have been waged on the back of “he said, she said”. Don’t accept statements as truths if you didn’t hear them from the horse’s mouth. So, apparently, Lodewyk said Erika slept with the minister’s daughter. Had she confronted him in person, she would have known that what he actually said was: “Does Erika want a sip of my mineral water?” Communication is key to a successful team dynamic. Instead of going on hearsay, step into a private office and discuss your gripes like adults – in person.
Refusing to participate in teamwork is like trying to sing a duet alone or giving yourself a hug. Especially in a creative environment, working with your team goes a long way in hatching solid ideas that are bulletproof. Yes, you may have come up with the original concept, but different people have different perspectives that contribute positively toward the success of any project. Modern society is complex to say the least. So, while you may think your tag line is great, a colleague might point out that it’s racially/culturally insensitive. And while you may think your web design is über functional, your resident developer might flag that even Google’s server room would struggle to host that bad boy.
There’s a difference between eavesdropping and simply being aware of what’s happening around you. Life is so busy that quite often, issues and niggles get lost in the noise of the daily hustle and bustle. Perhaps you’ve noticed a client-related train smash that’s about to happen. Maybe everyone’s so caught up in that campaign’s go-live deadline, that everyone has failed to remember it’s the ECD’s birthday. There could even be a colleague going through a tough time emotionally that no one is aware of. Whatever the case, it’s always good to be aware of what’s happening around you, and alerting the relevant people. Not only does it prevent balls from being dropped, but it also strengthens your team dynamic when you care enough to notice the little things.
So, in conclusion: office environments will always be tricky. Constant smooth sailing and calm seas are novel ideals but, ultimately, unrealistic. However, by following the above tips, a certain degree of office nirvana is achievable. Give it a go. Because, you know, the team that slays together, stays together.