If many people were honest, they would say that they seldom genuinely enjoy their time at work. You too? Well, the good news is that you don't have to settle for mundane work. Dr. Wanita Mercer, the CEO and mastermind behind Lead My Heart, delved into the profound concept of falling in love with your career again in her enlightening Revival series. In the third episode, “Harnessing Your Hobbies," she immerses us in the world of workplace hobby integration, unraveling some powerful statistics and rewards that come with infusing your passions into your professional life. In this blog post, we’ll explore the many benefits of incorporating your personal hobbies into the workplace, such as reigniting the passion for your career and elevating your overall job satisfaction.
Assess Your Current Job Satisfaction
Self-reflection is a powerful tool for unlocking professional fulfillment. Before we get into the benefits of integrating your hobbies at work, first take a moment for self-reflection and assess your current job satisfaction by asking yourself these thought-provoking questions:
“How often do you have fun at work?”
“How often do you engage in your hobbies?”
“Have you ever considered bringing your hobbies into the workplace?”
You have likely found that there is room for improvement with your level of satisfaction regarding your work activities. Now, consider the impact that bringing your hobbies to work can have on your overall well-being, job satisfaction, and whole life balance.
Elevate Job Satisfaction with Hobby Integration
While there are many benefits to integrating your hobbies at work, here are three that provide idyllic outcomes for team members and organizations alike:
1. Building Deeper Authentic Connections with Colleagues: Integrating hobbies into the workplace does not have to be boring, it can be a wonderful opportunity to get to know your colleagues on a deeper level. Anything from participating in volunteer programs, to engaging in meditative practices, or forming a vibrant book club, there are endless opportunities waiting to be explored. Team bonding does not always have to be workshop related or too formal. The most effective way to truly connect with someone is by being sincere and authentic to who you are and your interests, harnessing the beauty of diversity.
2. Reducing Workplace Stress: Approximately 83 percent of U.S. workers suffer from work-related stress and 54 percent of workers report that work stress affects their home life. Moreover, workplace stress has been reported to cause 120,000 deaths in the U.S. each year (Osha.gov/workplace-stress). In the wake of these alarming statistics, it is evident that the pervasive issue of work-related stress has profound implications for both individuals and society. It is becoming increasingly crucial to explore and implement strategies that not only mitigate workplace stress but also promote a healthier, whole life balance. Also, remember to take the time to breathe intentionally as this simple yet powerful practice can serve as a gateway to tranquility, mindfulness, and overall well-being amid life’s bustling demands.
3. Unleashing Creativity: Hobbies often involve activities or skills not directly related to one’s work tasks. Engaging in these activities can provide new perspectives and ways of thinking, which can be applied creatively in a work context. Hobbies not only unleash heightened creativity but also leads to an uplifted mood and a powerful diversion from negative thoughts, leading to a more enriching and fulfilling creative experience.
As we wrap things up, let’s transition into a moment of self-reflection. Take a moment to reflect:
Which hobbies you can bring to work and where do they fit in?
Also consider how you can involve others and promote hobby integration among your team.
For a deeper dive into this enlightening subject and related discussions, be sure to subscribe to LMH on YouTube. Feel free to share your questions and thoughts, and remember to live and lead with purpose, passion, and power.
Jocelyn Martinez is a senior Communication Arts major at University of the Incarnate Word in San Antonio, TX. She is currently a copywriting intern for Lead My Heart.
10 Ideas for Leaders
Here are a few ideas for hobby integration to get you started:
Creative Workshops: Organize workshops where team members can share skills from their hobbies, like photography, painting, or cooking, to foster skill development and team bonding.
Hobby-Based Team Building Activities: Plan team-building exercises centered around common hobbies, such as group hiking trips, photography contests, or gardening projects.
Lunch and Learn Sessions: Host informal sessions where team members present and discuss their hobbies, teaching colleagues something new and potentially useful.
Themed Hobby Days: Dedicate certain days for team members to engage in or showcase their hobbies at work, such as "Music Monday" where they can share their musical talents.
Hobby Clubs or Groups: Encourage the formation of hobby-based clubs, like a book club, chess club, or running group, to foster community and networking within the workplace.
Project Music Playlist: Allow team members to contribute songs to a playlist that represents the goals, mission, and vibes of that new project to boost morale.
Volunteer Projects Reflecting Hobbies: Support volunteer opportunities that align with team members' hobbies, like photography for a charity event, gardening for community beautification, or knitting for homeless shelters.
Problem-Solving through Hobbies: Encourage team members to approach work challenges in ways that align with their hobbies, such as using storytelling techniques from writing or strategic thinking from chess.
Flexible Schedules for Hobby Pursuits: Provide flexible working hours or breaks for team members to engage in their hobbies, such as allowing a longer lunch for a fitness class or an early departure for a cooking course.
Recognition of Hobby Achievements: Acknowledge and celebrate team members' achievements in their hobbies, such as completing a marathon, exhibiting artwork, or publishing writing, to boost morale and encourage a culture of diversity and personal development.