7 Things to do When Work Sucks

This post is based on my conversation with Bruce Daisley, the former European VP of Twitter and author of the great book, “Eat, Sleep, Work, Repeat: 30 Hacks for Bringing Joy to Your Job.”

Why work sucks?

#1. Burnout.

Over the last 15 years, the workday has expanded from 7.5 hours to 9.5 hours a day. (Up to 70 hours of connectivity.)

One reason your coworkers are so irritating is you’re burned out.

#2. Bad managers.

“If someone’s got a bad manager, they generally think they’ve got a bad job.” Daisley

70% of the variance in workgroup engagement is caused by managers. (Gallup)

Bruce in his own words: Why work sucks.

7 things to do when work sucks:

“We’ve all got a stake in it (joy) and we all can create it.” Daisley

#1. Don’t count on perks.

The pursuit of happiness often doesn’t result in happiness.

“Your boss…giving you lots of things doesn’t seem to correlate with us being happier in our jobs.” Daisley

#2. Make progress.

#3. Notice.

The worst managers aren’t negative, they just don’t notice. Negative noticing is better than being ignored.

“An indifferent boss is the worst.” Daisley

Bruce in his own words: Who is responsible for joy at work?

#4. Do something meaningful.

#5. Help someone.

#6 Connect.

“40% don’t have a friend at work.” Daisley

#7. Laugh – the joy of affiliation. (Bruce’s favorite.)

Joy tip #1: Have meetings like the mafia (Walking meetings).

Schedule walking meetings.

“We seem to get a whole heap of extra energy when we’re outdoors.” Daisley

Bruce in his own words: How to energize teams.

Joy tip #2: Create psychological safety.

Feeling safe is the context for joy at work. And we do better work, too.

Amy Edmondson noticed the best teams in the medical sector made the most mistakes. But she discovered that they REPORTED the most mistakes because they felt safe.

What makes work suck?

How might mangers create psychological safety?

How might we bring greater joy to work?

Bonus material:

Eat, Sleep, Work, Repeat: 30 Hacks for Bringing Joy to our Job (Amazon)

Bruce Daisley’s (Podcast)