Whether you’re dreaming about being fired or getting a promotion, work dreams can have a tendency to play on our minds.
Are they premonitions? Let’s face it we don’t need anymore added stresses in our lives.
Wonder no more, because we’ve got the low down on what the most popular work-related dreams mean for you.
From going to work without pants to racy encounters with colleagues, work-related dreams can tell us how we really feel about our jobs.
A fifth of employees dream about being in a relationship with their colleague, according to a recent study by Totaljobs.
In fact, more than half of employees admit to dreaming about work regularly, so what does it all mean? Dreams expert Inbaal Honigman weighs in.
Dreaming about being late for work
The most common work-related dream is about being late for work and it turns out it’s an anxiety dream.
People will experience this dream, when they feel they’re not good enough at their job or no matter how much effort they put in, they still can’t fulfil the minimum expected standard.
This doesn’t mean that the person experiencing these dreams is really incapable of performing their work well, it is simply an expression of their worry that they might not be.
Another reason for this can be if their work isn’t praised by their superiors, especially if they work hard on achieving results.
Dreaming about getting into trouble at work
The second most searched work dream is again anxiety related.
It’s a way to vent your anger about how things are handled in the workplace.
Inbaal said: ‘In the dream, we say awful stuff, the boss says awful stuff, and we find ourselves in trouble.’
The brain is trying to play out arguments that would otherwise threaten our position or career, in the safe environment of our dream.
The reason for this anxiety dream is most likely that you are not being heard at the workplace, which is important to tackle in real life.
Dreaming about a promotion at work
This dream is less of a nightmare. It’s about being promoted at work.
‘A promotion dream could be a prophetic dream,’ said Inbaal.
If you’re having this dream, it could mean that your subconscious has picked up positive signals, such as that you’re doing very well at your tasks, or that perhaps promotions were talked about at work.
Whatever happens in the workplace, this dream is a sign that you’re doing great at your job.
Dreaming about old work colleagues
This dream is not necessarily what you expect. Dreaming about workmates in days gone by can be either positive or negative.
If you’re happy to see your old colleagues, Inbaal said ‘it’s probably a sign that you’re missing how you used to feel about yourself in the old job’.
Inbaal said: ‘Work colleagues represent the way you used to solve problems, so if you’re excited to see those old workmates in your dream, you probably miss the way you used to deal with challenges.’
On the other hand, if you’re not very happy to see your old colleagues, you probably are more content in your current job than you were then.
Dreaming about going to work without pants
The no-pants dream is a bit of a cliché but it’s talked about for a reason. It’s a common dream.
‘Many people dream about having no pants on at school, while giving a talk or even at their own wedding,’ Inbaal said.
This anxiety dream ranks fifth among the most common work-related dreams worldwide.
It is often a way for the brain to express how frightening your work situation is to you subconsciously. Like with the other work-related nightmares, the best way to stop this is to address the problem in real life.
You probably really need a break from work, or at least some reassurance from your colleagues that you’re doing well.
Dreaming about being replaced at work
If you’re dreaming about being replaced at work it’s probably due to the fact that some workplaces regularly remind their employees that they’re replaceable.
These superiors or employers believe this to be motivating, when in fact, it has the opposite effect.
The resulting insecurity, which your subconscious experiences and displays in a dream, more often motivates workers to find a different job before it’s too late.
If you are repeatedly dreaming about being replaced, then your brain is probably right in telling you to do just that: replace the job before your employer replaces you.
Dreaming about getting robbed at work
This nightmare is of a more serious nature, Inbaal warns.
She said employees can be made to feel insecure or unsafe at work ‘if there’s a toxic culture of ‘banter’ for example, where it’s fair game to ridicule a colleague.’
This kind of toxic work environment will cause such nightmares as getting robbed at work, and it definitely needs addressing with HR.
Dreaming about falling asleep at work
If you’re having this anxiety dream, chances are you are worried this could really happen to you.
Either your work is very dull to you, or you are chronically under-slept.
More generally, this could mean you feel uneasy in your work environment and your sleeping habits or day-to-day tasks in your work might need to change to make you feel safer.
Romantic dreams about work
While you might think that this shows subconscious urges of a racier nature, Inbaal said, these dreams actually mainly suggest you are comfortable in your job.
‘If the dream is a little more passionate, then it could show that you’re a little bored at work and need to spice up your working day,’ she said.
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