Routinely, waking up every weekday morning to go to work is a struggle for most Americans. According to a recent nationwide survey conducted by Gallup, 51% of U.S employees reported being actively disengaged at work, feeling no real connection to their jobs or the work they do on a daily basis. This disengagement can make employment both physically and mentally draining, creating a negative work environment for the entire organization.
This recent epidemic of negativity around the office is also effecting productivity. An article in the Harvard Business Review discusses the importance of positive attitudes at work, stating, “A large and growing body of research on positive organizational psychology demonstrates that not only is a cut-throat environment harmful to productivity over time, but that a positive environment will lead to dramatic benefits for employers, employees, and the bottom line.” To promote positivity in the workplace, we’ve created a list of things employees can do to foster a positive attitude at work.
Build Personal Relationships Around the Office
When at work, it’s easy to get lost in projects, throw on headphones, and ignore those sitting just a few feet away. For many employees around the country, the people they spend the majority of their work week with are complete strangers because they refuse to open up and communicate with their coworkers on a personal level. However, experts confirm that being open with coworkers can create a more friendly and comfortable work environment.
According to Annie McKee, author of How to Be Happy at Work: The Power of Purpose, Hope, and Friendship, “Connecting with people boosts our mood and our morale, and friendships provide us with the emotional and psychological strength to deal with whatever comes our way — whether an exciting opportunity, a challenge or a crisis.” Having people at work you enjoy being around can make the morning commute more exciting, and having a coworker to vent to when things get hectic is a great tool when trying to maintain a positive attitude.
Bring Pieces of Home to Work
Sometimes home can feel hundreds of miles away from the office. Fortunately, most employees have the freedom to decorate their desks with pictures, crafts, and memorabilia that remind them of their loved ones. This not only gives an ordinary desk a much needed makeover, but having sentimental objects around the office can help lift the spirits when things get overwhelming at work.
Emotional wellness experts at YourDOST touch on the value and impact of personalizing the workspace, saying, “Personalizing your workstation also helps us emotionally. Seeing familiar things around makes us comfortable and wanting to sit at that desk.” Improving comfort levels around the office will make it easier to keep a positive attitude at work.
Mental breaks are a great way to avoid letting stress and negativity take over while at work. Studies show that employees that get up from their desk and divert their attention away from their work are not only more productive, but are also happier at the end of the day. Now this doesn’t mean taking long breaks and avoiding work all together, but taking a few minutes to regroup and refocus can do wonders for an employee’s energy.
Set Attainable Goals
One of the biggest factors in workplace negativity is not being able to achieve goals. Having unreachable goals or goals that will take time to achieve can be daunting to employees, and harder for them to feel a sense of accomplishment. This is why employees should set their own, individual goals that are attainable. By setting short-term goals that can be achieved in a timely manner, employees can more easily track their progression towards bigger, harder to reach long-term goals.
Celebrate Your Victories
The final tip in retaining a positive attitude at work is to celebrate victories, both big and small. Employees that reward themselves and pat themselves on the back when completing a project, achieving a goal, or receiving recognition from others around the office are generally happier at work and are more excited about the future.
While going to the office can be hard at times, it’s important to keep a positive attitude at work. Nobody benefits when employees are negative, especially when the negativity becomes infectious, affecting others around the workplace. Smiling and spreading positivity can make work enjoyable, and allow employees and organizations as a whole to realize their true potential.