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have fun at work

According to an old adage, work isn’t supposed to be fun. That’s why they pay you to show up! But if you ask Laura Brounstein, the special projects director at Cosmopolitan magazine, it is possible to have fun at your job. In an interview with Business Insider, she shared with writer Jacquelyn Smith “8 Ways to Have More Fun at Work.” Read on and learn how to make your 9-to-5 less of a grind.

1. Invent Little Traditions — In the workplace, habits develop easily. You see the same people every day during the same period of time. Why not create fun little traditions to brighten everyone’s mood? Brounstein loves Diet Coke, and she and her coworkers will “gift” each other cans in the afternoon. Little things like that go a long way.

2. Step Away from the Desk — Be sure to get up and walk around. Studies show that movement enhances creativity, and if you’re stuck on a problem, you might find the solution while strolling around the block or heading to the coffee shop.

3. Decorate Your Workspace — Working in a drab little cube can really get you down. Pin up photos of loved ones and sweet cards and notes you’ve received from coworkers. Anything that’ll make you smile, in other words.

4. Don’t Forget to Laugh — Obviously, you can’t crack jokes all day, but laughter is an incredible stress reliever, and best of all, it’s contagious. Maintaining a good sense of humor will ease tension and strengthen bonds with coworkers.

5. Give Compliments — The thing about compliments: They’re as fun to give as they are to receive. If you like one of your coworker’s ideas, tell the person. It’ll make his or her day, and next time, they’ll return the favor and give you some props.

6. Say Hey to Colleagues and Friends — Brounstein is a big fan of “checking in” with people, either by sending emails or stopping by people’s desks. When you take time to say hello and ask how someone is doing, it brightens their day, and that contributes to an overall happier work environment.

7. Some Some Appreciation — This is similar to the compliment thing. When someone helps you out, tell them how much you appreciate it. Gratitude is a beautiful thing.

8. Join or Create a Team or Club — If you like softball, join the company team. If there isn’t one, or if sports aren’t your thing, form some other kind of club. Doing so will create some common ground between you and your colleagues, and it’ll give you something to talk about and look forward to.