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  • Writer's pictureSarah Tian

Simple Tips to Improve Your Experience at Work

Updated: Jul 15, 2022

Most of us spend a significant amount of time working but often with a longstanding negative attitude towards work. We often can't wait for the workday to end, watching the clock tick as it approaches 5 pm and fantasize about our next vacation. In reality, we can all make small changes to make our daily work experience significantly better.

According to the theory of work design (Hackman & Oldham, 1976; Humphrey et al., 2007), there are certain characteristics that make work intrinsically motivating and satisfying.

I summarize some of the key ingredients of work and provide practical suggestions on what you can do to enhance your experience of work.

Autonomy - The extent to which you have the freedom to decide when & how you work.

💡 Take control of your daily work schedule. For example, if you have the most brainpower in the mornings, try to schedule more challenging and heads-down work in the mornings and schedule less important meetings or do less challenging work in the afternoons.

💡 Embed small actions in your daily work to create a sense of control. For example, you can take a 5 minute break to stretch every hour. Remember, the key is to create a mindset of autonomy!

Task/Skill variety - The extent to which your job involves doing different types of work that makes use of different skills.

💡 Look for new opportunities to use your skills. For example, if a great portion of your work involves computer programming, ask your supervisor for opportunities to present to other teams to make use of your communication skills.

💡 Try something new! For example, why don't you volunteer to organize the team's next social event?

💡 Improve your current skills. Learn from your coworkers. Take an online class to learn to do your work in a more efficient way.

Task significance - The extent to which your work has impact within or outside the organization.

💡Reflect on your greater impacts. For example, as an office window cleaner, your work maximizes the amount of sunlight in the office, saves energy needed for indoor lighting, and is beneficial for the environment; sunlight also makes office workers more energetic and improves their productivity and happiness.