Positive Energy: How To Change Your Office for the Better

Gratitude Journal

“We don’t see things as they are, we see them as we are.” – Anais Nin.

Sure, it may sound easy to “stay positive,” but when the office is swirling with citizen complaints, you’re stuck in the red tape, your computer has a meltdown, or you are one man down, it can be difficult to remain optimistic. However, that’s exactly when it is most important to remain positive!

Research has shown that the benefits of positivity in the workplace are endless.  Just merely going through the motions can actually trigger feelings of happiness.  A happy workplace results in increased productivity, fewer sick days, feelings of security, and positive conflict resolution.

Here are some of those “motions” that can positively influence the workplace environment:

  • Stay focused on the mission of the workplace. Keeping focused on the big-picture helps employees get over the day-to-day frustrations. It helps isolate the problem so that it does not become a larger problem, and allows everyone to recover quicker.
  • See obstacles as an opportunity to learn something, or change something for the better. When you turn a negative into a lesson learned, that’s when real change happens. Look at pitfalls as opportunities to change something to prevent it from happening again, or as opportunities to streamline a complicated process. Failures and obstacles and really opportunities in disguise.
  • Focus on people’s strengths, not their weaknesses. Positive reinforcement produces creativity, motivation, efficiency, and confidence. Negative feedback results in conflict, apathy, decreased productivity, and more sick time. Too often, we harp on people’s weaknesses rather than their strengths. This will only make them mediocre at something, rather than spending the same amount of time becoming excellent at something they are already good at.
  • Understand that your outlook is contagious. Just as negativity in the workplace is contagious, so is a positive outlook. Maintaining a cheerful attitude can inspire an overall positive and emotionally-supportive workplace.
  • Compliment your coworkers. A little encouragement can go a long way. Think of the last time that you complimented your peers for their contributions. If you haven’t done so lately, give it a shot. People are generally very receptive to compliments and thank you’s.
  • Acknowledge your peers’ contributions. Just as compliments and thank you’s are important, it is also important to acknowledge your peers’ contributions when discussing a particular task or project to a superior or outside organization or group.
  • Get personal. Bringing in homemade cookies, sending a thank you card, and showing concern and interest in your coworkers’ personal lives all small gestures of gratitude that can make a big difference in the workplace. Even a small smile can trigger feelings of happiness externally and within.

It actually takes a lot of energy to be upset. Exerting the same amount of energy on positive behaviors can produce results that will create a great inner-office energy, facilitating a happier, healthier organization.

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