How happy do you feel when you have helped someone out of a situation where they could not see the light at the end of the tunnel? In training, this is a common feeling; when a person does not know how to handle specific situations at work, and you take the time to listen and offer options. You explain the different options to them and they decide on one that will work and ultimately improve the working environment.
If we relate this to the working environment during Ramadan, I often hear that it helps keeping your mind busy, because there may be times during the day when energy levels may be lower than normal. However, happiness at the workplace may not be the number one priority on everyone’s mind, so let’s be realistic. It is more about managing expectations, so you succeed at what you are doing, and therefore have job satisfaction.
During one of my workshops, the topic of happiness during Ramadan came up when one of the participants asked me how they can keep motivated and happy at work during Ramadan. I took a few seconds to consider this first, and then responded by asking why they are only concerned during Ramadan- this should be something we consider all the time. After discussing this topic in the group, we came up with the following suggestions:
1. Don’t waste your time on more mundane and less important tasks. We still have to complete our work during reduced working hours, so plan your time and set realistic time frames to prevent deadlines all approaching at once.
2. Motivation comes from within. Come to work with a Positive Mental Attitude (PMA) as this can sometimes be “half the battle.”
3. Write the tasks for the day in order of priority, so that when you have completed the tasks, it is a great feeling of accomplishment.
4. Make the best of what you have. I am not saying don’t be ambitious, however some people always think the “grass is greener” on the other side, thinking that extra money, a promotion will make them happier. This may be true in the short term; however, what about the long term? That’s something to think about.
5. Consider others and take the time to speak to get to know someone from another department. We are not talking about wasting time here, however you all work for the same organization, so why not get to know each other better. The topic of the conversation could be as general as what do you do after Iftar, or the TV series or book you are currently engrossed in.
6. If you are a senior manager, ask yourself how well you know your team, and how well they know you in a professional capacity. You could start an initiative, where one morning a month, they can meet with you to ask questions on a specific topic. This could be team or department wise.
7. Consider colleagues with whom you have had conflicts with over the past year, and let go of the grudges you may still have. Be the better person, and take the first step to resolving the issue. If it does not work, then at least you tried.
8. If you see someone who does not look happy, approach them. Ask them if you can help with something? At least this shows that you have noticed that they do not look happy and have taken the initiative to approach them.
Now, if it is Ramadan, they may just be tired; however, you have taken the first step to show you care. Perhaps this person also feels happy that you did this.