Look, it’s a fact that a lot of people wake up not too enthusiastic about Mondays. We can’t blame them. Mondays can be rough. But you can tackle the Monday blahs, and your attitude at your job, by just changing your outlook a little. We’re all grateful to be employed and to have enough money to pay the bills. A lot of us enjoy the people we work with, too, although there are times when maybe we don’t enjoy them as much as we might like. There are a lot of mornings when hitting the desk just doesn’t have the kind of appeal we might like it to. It’s those mornings when you find yourself checking Facebook or surfing around on your phone while you try to get up the energy to do the job you’re supposed to be there to do, right?
Well, you might be surprised to learn that the key to enjoying your job more isn’t something outside of you. It isn’t changing bosses or even changing jobs. It isn’t external to you. It is, in fact, all about making an attitude change inside you yourself. If you’re feeling like you don’t like your job very much, we have you covered. Business isn’t easy, and maintaining your own morale, or that of your employees, can take a lot of doing. So the first thing you’ve got to do is recognize that a toxic workplace is something that very much can happen, and which you need to work to avoid at all costs.
Toxic workplaces are just that. They’re the sorts of places where a corrosive attitude about work invades everything that everyone is doing there. In the process, new employees are quickly turned bitter, cynical, and unsatisfied. Toxic workplaces tend to grow worst during bad economic times, when employees feel like even if they do want to change jobs, there is nowhere that they can go. Over time, this atmosphere creates attitudes among employees that hurts new employees as well as established employees. The result is a place that nobody wants to work, and when people don’t want to be there doing the job, they don’t produce meaningful, quality work. Everyone suffers when productivity suffers, and over time, a toxic workplace can kill a business.
Here are a few ways that you can improve your own attitude in the workplace. None of these are guarantees, of course, but taken together, they can make a real difference. For example, you need to be very clear about how grateful you are, and for what you are grateful. In other words, it’s very easy to take your job, and the paycheck it produces, for granted. Over time you start to resent the fact that there are things about your job you don’t like, and things you don’t want to do. But without that job and without the money it generates for you, you cannot continue to survive as a human being… right? Well, that’s something that’s worth being grateful for, as anyone who has been out of work for any length of time can attest. When you are unemployed, you will do anything to have even a “bad” job, as long as it produces the money you need. So make sure always to be grateful for the things that you have, and that includes being grateful for the fact that you are employed, that you are able to pay your bills, and that you are doing productive work with your time.
When you work with others, always thank them for their time and effort. Do so honestly, not in a curt or perfunctory fashion. The people you work with are all doing their best… and if you find yourself tempted to judge one of your coworkers for not doing his or her best, you should address that as well. You are not in a position to judge your fellow employees. That’s a job for their managers. You need to work honestly on how to get along with others and how to make things better.
If you don’t feel the work you are doing is productive, that’s something else to address. Employees often get into a rut wherein they feel like the work they are doing is meaningless. You have to break out of this cycle if you find yourself starting to feel this way. So much about how you feel about your work starts and ends with your own attitude toward it. In other words, your emotions about your job can be a self-fulfilling prophecy.
Never forget the one tried and true thing that can make any workplace feel better and also raise morale, as long as it is not mean-spirited, and that is humor. Why do you think “office pranks” became a thing in the first place? It’s because humor is something we can all relate to, and humor helps make a bad day better. Even if you are feeling otherwise bored and unfilled at work, injecting humor and having a sense of humor can make your day a great one. Now, this is not a license to go out and start committing office pranks, but a few good-natured pranks are always welcome as long as they’re done in a spirit everyone can relate to. Remember that humor is not just about what makes you laugh. It’s got to be accessible to everyone. You don’t want to have your laughs at someone else’s expense.
Finally, at work, it’s important to stop and recognize when you actually accomplish something. A lot of our work can feel like spinning our wheels against a daily grind that never ends. When you acknowledge that something has been accomplished, some part of a job, no matter how small, you do a lot to increase workplace morale and your own happiness. This is why some companies give out recognition awards. The awards have no monetary value, but they increase morale by making employees feel appreciated and valued. They also encourage employers to look for these things to value.