How To Work 9 to 5 and Enjoy It


October 3, 2007   •   Fact checked by Dumb Little Man


There are no shortage of internet articles proclaiming the end of the 9 to 5 working week. But, the reality for many of us is that our job is hard work, repetitive and often not particularly interesting. If you have to trudge into the office 9-5, 5 days a week, these are some suggestions to make work less of a burden and more enjoyable.

  • Maintain Good Relationships with others: The problem with an office environment is that you have no choice of the people you work with. If your relationships with these people sour, it can make work a real pain. Therefore, work hard to maintain reasonable relationships with your work colleagues. These are some quick tips for effective work relationships:
  • Don’t harshly criticize others, even if they deserve it
  • Don’t take criticism too personally
  • Avoid Gossip
  • Avoid Arguments with loud and obnoxious people

If you find it difficult to get along with someone, force yourself to remember some positive quality that person has. – You may be surprised at how much the situation is improved.

  • Take Pride in Your Work: Even if you don’t particularly love your company, it is still advisable to try and do your job conscientiously. If you try to do your job well, you will gain a lasting satisfaction and it will help give a purpose to working. If you feel there is no point to your work, you will have a permanent feeling of dissatisfaction, and it will be impossible to enjoy your time at work. If you dislike the ethos of your company, you can still do a good job; but, feel you are doing it for your benefit and not the company’s. For example, a good attitude will definitely help get a good recommendation when you are looking for a new job. 
  • Don’t Take Your Work Home: The good thing about a 9 to 5 job is that at the end of the work day you are free. Therefore, it is important to make sure that you don’t take any work home with you. This includes checking work emails or even thinking about your work situation. In the evening try to switch off; you will not be able to solve any problems at home, just leave everything until the next day. 
  • Be Detached from the Stress of Your Company: Many Companies have ambitious sales targets and profit margins. A Corporate philosophy such as this can easily create a pressured work environment for their employees. However, you should feel that it is not your responsibility to take on this stress. Why should you needlessly suffer just so that the company can pay a higher dividend to its shareholders? Do a good job, but don’t feel obliged to sacrifice your own equanimity for the excessive demands of your company. 
  • Avoid Gossip: It is easy to get caught up in the workplace gossip. But, the fleeting pleasure of sharing gossip is rarely worth the long term cost of hurt feelings and damaged relationships. Rather than encourage gossip, practise random acts of kindness. Try pointing out some good things that others have done. It is the nature of life that what you give out, often comes back to you. If you share malicious gossip, don’t be surprised if the same happens to you. At the same time, if you offer kindness, people will be inclined to return the favor. 
  • Take your lunch Break away from Work: Every now and then it is good to get away from from the pressured environment of work. A change of scenery helps to put the workplace into perspective. If you spend all your time at work, it can start to feel claustrophobic. If you can spend time in a good cafe or garden it can help to recharge the batteries. It is also helpful to be on your own or meet friends from outside work. 
  • Don’t Feel Guilty for Problems that are not of your Own Making: One of the most difficult aspects of work is dealing with customer complaints. These complaints are often not your fault, but, it is you who have to suffer. It is important to remember, it is not your fault that your company is understaffed or trying to cut corners. In these situations we should never feel guilty, but, calmly and politely direct customers to the right channels for complaining. 
  • Spend 10% of Your Time doing something productive for Yourself: If work is boring there is a temptation to waste time reading surfing the internet, and participating in unproductive social networking. The situation is so commonplace that many employers resort to banning Facebook e.t.c. However, rather than surfing aimlessly why not do something productive? For example, developing a blog, and finding an alternative income source to your current job. Who knows maybe one day, you will be able to retire early…

Tejvan Pettinger studied PPE at Oxford University and now works as an Economics teacher. He updates a blog on self improvement called Sri Chinmoy Inspiration. The blog includes posts on productivity, meditation and tips for relaxation including, Finding Time for Relaxation.


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