Studies vary on levels of work satisfaction, but most people have been dissatisfied with their job at one point. But just because your job is not as satisfying as you may want it to be, there are steps you can take to make it a better place for yourself and others.
Below are 5 things you can do to make your work environment a more positive place:
- Create your own advancement: If there is a skill you would like to learn that is relevant to your current position, suggest taking it on to gain experience from it. This will not only increase your skills in your current position, it can help you advance to newer positions when they open up. By increasing your skillset, you will feel a sense of growth, even if your current job is not currently open to advancement.
- Encourage kindness: Chances are you are not the only one struggling to keep a positive mindset at work. Rather than making it worse by joining in rant sessions with your coworkers, perform small random acts of kindness on a regular basis to encourage a more positive environment. Share a cute animal photo, bring in baked goods to share or make an effort to compliment people on a regular basis. Kindness is contagious and will promote a more positive environment.
- Focus on your successes: In a negative work environment, there tends to be a major focus on what is going wrong. However, this mindset can be a self-fulfilling prophecy, leading you to make mistakes since that is what is on your mind. Instead, step back and look at your accomplishments each day or week and focus on all the good you have done. If you have the mindset that you do a good job, you will tend to continue doing a good job.
- Take breaks: Have you ever had one of those days at work when you realize it’s afternoon and you haven’t even gotten up to go to the bathroom? Studies have shown that people who break up sitting time throughout the day are in better general health than those who do not. Take a short walk outside to give your immune system and mood a boost by getting a dose of vitamin D through a few minutes in the sun. Taking breaks will also allow you to refresh your mind so you can think more clearly, thus allowing you to work more productively.
- Make a “happy place”: A lot of offices do not follow rules of feng shui and can be sterile looking or cluttered and not the best visual environment. If you spend more waking hours in your office than anywhere else, you should ensure it is pleasing to look at to improve your mood. Sticking within your company’s decor rules and being mindful of others, decorate your work space with things that make you happy, such as photos, plants, motivational sayings, positive emails, posters or small items. Every time you need a boost of positivity, look at these items and take a break from email and spreadsheets.
What are ways you make your work environment more positive?
A business is not unlike a sports team; they both consist of a variety of people with a variety of skills who share a common goal. Each player has particular responsibilities and roles to fill, however, when a company has solid teamwork on the inside, it is clearly demonstrated on the outside.
Chances are, you’re not always going to get along with all of your coworkers. Most sales people have much different personalities than most accountants, operations and selling function differently and there’s usually a divide between departments, regardless of where you work.
However, if you put forth the effort to be a better team player, you can help your company run like a well-oiled machine and not a rusty old pickup. Here are some tips on how you can be a better team player:
- Remember the Golden Rule: Because businesses are professional teams, chances are, you are going to need help from a teammate in the future, regardless of what your position is. The best way to ensure you have a good chance of getting that favor is if you have done something for others. So many times, I’ve had to have the warehouse quickly pull and ship an order for me so I make every effort to help them whenever I can because if we help each other, we accomplish our goals faster.
- Say yes: Or at least say “I’ll see what I can do,” rather than always initially saying no without consideration. Many times, when asking a favor of someone else, that person will say “I’m too busy” or provide a list of excuses why they can’t help. Oftentimes, requests are actually simple and rather than provide a list of excuses why you can’t help, consider whether you actually have time to help. If you honestly don’t have the time, say so, but your consideration will; be remembered when you need a favor in the future.
- Have a sense of humor: Nothing’s worse than breaking bad news to someone who can’t take it and oftentimes, in any business, you get your fair share of bad news. Don’t be sour about things though; when times are stressful people are more likely to gravitate toward someone who can lighten the mood than to someone who stresses them out. Additionally, if you are the one receiving the bad news, you will get that news much faster if the giver knows you won’t kill the messenger. Laughter is contagious and makes for a lighter work environment.
- Acknowledge good ideas: It’s easy to get a hurt ego at work, especially if you’re surrounded by talented people. Do yourself a favor and acknowledge when others have a good idea because it builds a positive work environment. One of the greatest benefits of working with talented people is sharing ideas and improving your own skills. When your team looks good, you look good as well and if you give credit to others, they will be quick to credit you.
- Avoid the rumor mill: Office gossip can run rampant and when it gets negative, it has a severe impact on employees. When job stability or unfairness is mentioned, employees get concerned and go on the defense. By putting a positive spin on any rumors or shutting them down from the get-go, you can change the mindset of your work environment. Also consider the fact that if others badmouth your coworkers to you, chances are they’re badmouthing you as well. If you can turn their focus to how others are helping the company, you can spread positive vibes instead of negative.
- Be responsible and dependable: If you’ve ever tasked someone with a project only to have them forget, you know the disappointment it brings. Don’t be that person. Find the best way to keep track of your responsibilities and follow through with them. Provide updates and ask questions if needed. That way, if you hit a bump early on, it’s much easier to resolve than if you wait until the last minute.
- Value your team: When things go awry, it’s easy to blame others, but blaming others is not productive whatsoever. Focus on the end goal and how you can achieve it with the help of your team. Your positive attitude will make each struggle that much less of a struggle and each success that much sweeter because you can all share in the success you earned together as a team.
Remember, there is no I in team. Work for your team and they will work for you in return.