Most households in the United States today include one or more members who work full-time outside the home. It’s common for the average workplace to fluctuate between a positive, upbeat atmosphere and days that workers and managers wish they could do over or erase altogether.
Sometimes, a negative environment takes over a workplace. It can cause tremendous stress or make you feel like you would rather quit your job than deal with the drama for one more day. There are several things you can do to avoid negativity in the workplace.
Choose your workplace battles carefully
You’ve heard all the clichés: Don’t sweat the small stuff, choose your battles, etc. Well, it’s good advice, especially if you’re dealing with negativity in the workplace. If you get riled up over every single unfair, nasty or annoying thing that happens at work, it can have serious adverse effects on your health.
Before reacting to a negative situation, ask yourself why it’s upsetting you. Determine if speaking out about it is worth your time or effort. For instance, perhaps there’s an employee who is always late for work and it irritates you. If that’s all it does, meaning it doesn’t affect your duties or standing in the company, then is it really worth your attention?
Poor management and worker morale affect the workplace
If you’re trying to improve your personal experience in a negative workplace atmosphere, try to determine what or who exactly is causing the negativity. Often, a drama-filled or depressing work environment is due to poor management. While it’s true that lack of quality management can have a significant negative impact on a work atmosphere, it can be challenging to figure out how to avoid letting it affect your mood and attitude.
Maybe there’s a particular employee or group of workers who do nothing but complain. Avoiding them as much as possible can have an instant positive impact on your workplace environment. If it’s not possible to avoid them, try to come up with other ways to counteract their negativity, such as saying something positive (or, at least, thinking something positive) whenever they whine or complain.
Avoid gossip and drama
If co-workers are always gossiping to you about others, chances are they’re also gossiping ABOUT you. Gossip and drama add to negativity in the workplace. You’ll be a lot less stressed if you do your best to avoid both.
Find ways to de-stress on your breaks or free time
Negative attitudes are contagious. To avoid being caught up in a low-morale work atmosphere, try to find ways to “shake it off” as often as you can. For instance, go for a brisk walk outdoors on your break.
At home, take up a hobby, exercise or spend time in prayer and meditation to release stress and improve your mood. Also, try to surround yourself with positive thinkers and people who have a joyful attitude in life. That’s contagious, too!
Negativity versus hostile work environment
There’s a difference between a low-morale or negative workplace atmosphere and one that is hostile. If someone is bullying or harassing you, not only can it impede your ability to do your job, it can cause emotional trauma and high levels of stress.
There are employment laws to protect you from discrimination and harassment in the workplace. If you determine that you’re not merely dealing with a negative mood or attitude in your work environment but hostility that is violating your rights, you can file a complaint and take legal steps to resolve the problem.
Let’s re-cap the 5 tips for avoiding workplace negativity
It will never be a perfect world, but you always have a bit of control over your workplace atmosphere and personal attitude. Remember these tips when things start going downhill:
- Choose your battles wisely.
- Avoid complainers or counteract complaints with positive thoughts and comments.
- Always avoid gossip and drama.
- Fine ways to de-stress during the work day and at home.
- Know the difference between negative moods and a hostile work environment, and report behavior that violates your rights.
Share this post with others to help promote positivity in the workplace and to provide a resource for those who may be struggling with a negative work environment at this time.