Corporate culture is filled with major stressors. Office gossip, pressing deadlines, and constant policy changes are part of every workplace, but many will put up with even the worst stressors for job security and benefits. Grinning and bearing it only perpetuates a toxic cycle that demotivates and depresses everyone.
Don’t let a stressful work environment bring you down. Do your part. You can make yourself comfortable and contribute to creating a positive atmosphere for yourself and others at work.
Choose a Positive Work Environment First
Why accept a job when you’re only going to quit soon after or be let go because your hatred of your job affects your performance? The answer for most is job security and receiving a paycheck. Choose a positive work environment first, instead of becoming one of the millions who rant about how much they hate their toxic work environment.
Don’t be one of the over 70 percent of Americans who are unhappy with their jobs. Don’t be one of the 2.7 million people who quit their jobs every month, even in a down economy. Don’t participate in making hatred of your job a work culture norm.
When interviewing, investigate the work culture and see the environment for yourself. It’s your right as a prospective employee to truly make sure you are a right fit—if this environment is conducive to your professional growth and productivity. Ask to see where you would be working. Ask employers about what they do to encourage and engage their employees.
Give Your Work Space Personality and Zen
If you like gray cubicles, gray walls and lukewarm coffee, raise your hand. Sure, you come to work to work, but imagine how much better your performance and morale would be if you actually liked the space you’re working within.
If you get cold at work, bring a comfortable blanket. Bring a set of Minions toys, and make them get into shenanigans every week. Buy pencil holders and other office supplies in your favorite color. Invite nature in with real or plastic plants. Bring your yoga mat to do stretches on your break. Add a dash of your personality to your workspace to remain centered and sane while at work. Your workspace is likely to inspire interesting conversations with coworkers.
Take Part in Work Activities
Company incentives and activities may not entice you, but your employer is trying. These activities are important to build community in the workplace and show appreciation for your hard work. Company culture suffers when employees don’t show up and speak up about what they like and don’t like.
Take part in work activities to show that building a positive work environment is important to you. Give encouragement and good feedback when activities are successful. Volunteer for social committees. Work to meet goals, even if you only get a gift card for your efforts. Do the silly team building challenges. Speak up in meetings. Pitch new work activities, and join in the fray! To feel like a part of the team, you have to join the team.
Everyone separates work life and home life, which means presenting a professional personality when at the office. Yet, ask yourself if you are approachable, or if you are distant.
If you’re planning to grow within the company, you need to get to know the individuals there as more than a job role. So close your book and have a conversation at lunch. Go to networking dinners at your colleague’s home. Grab that after work drink.
Create a Transparent Relationship with Your Boss
How open should you be at work? Your boss often sets the tone for how transparent the professional relationship will be. Ideally, the boss’ open door policy encourages you to ask questions and communicate mutual expectations and needs, balancing your personal and professional lives.
What if the open door policy is more closed in reality? Look at the clues. How does your boss communicate good and bad news? How does your boss prefer to receive and address suggestions and feedback? It’s very important for your boss to understand your communication style, too.
Most employers prefer solutions and forthright conversation over gossip, passivity and ranting. Be concise. Provide solutions as suggestions. Be open about what you need and why. Show appreciation for their time, but also show appreciation for your boss by thanking them, which will nurture an environment for positive reinforcement and communication.
A positive work environment is essential to the healthy functioning of both business and employee. Negative work environments lead to stress, anxiety and fatigue. Over time, toxic work culture can make you develop issues with substance abuse and chronic health conditions that put you out of work for months to years.
While stress is said to be part of the job, you don’t have to accept that as the rule. Create a positive atmosphere at work by participating in work activities, socializing and cultivating a transparent relationship with your boss. Make it a goal to seek out a positive work environment in every job you apply to, and bring as much positivity to your work space as possible when you accept the job. Be comfortable with letting your authentic self shine on the job and wowing your boss!
Kacey is a lifestyle blogger for “The Drifter Collective.” Throughout her life, she has found excitement in the world around her. Kacey graduated with a degree in Communications while working for a lifestyle magazine. She has been able to fully embrace herself with the knowledge of nature, the power of exploring other locations, cultures, and styles, while communicating these endeavors through her passion for writing and expression. Her love for the world around her is portrayed through her visually pleasing, culturally embracing and inspiring posts.
The Drifter Collective: An eclectic lifestyle blog that expresses various forms of style through the influence of culture and the world around us.