Tips for Dealing with a Bad Work Environment

tips for dealing with a bad work environment

If you’re unhappy in your job, it may be time to take action. In today’s article, I share tips for dealing with a bad work environment that will hopefully alleviate some of the negative feelings you’ve been facing.  

It’s the last leg of Memorial Day Weekend, and for many of us, that means we’ve enjoyed a three-day weekend in honor of the men and women who died serving our country. Whether spending more time with family, going away for the weekend, or simply just resetting your brain for the week ahead, it is undeniably nice to have that extra day off. But, that extra day doesn’t really matter if you work in an unhealthy atmosphere and always dread going back to work every week. That kind of negativity can not only affect your productivity but your overall mindset as well, which could essentially be holding you back in your career.

In fact, professional solutions agency Willis Towers Watson states “employees suffering from high-stress levels have lower engagement, are less productive and have higher absentee levels than those not operating under excessive pressure,” as shown in their 2014 Global Benefits Attitudes Survey. Leaving your job for another is easier said than done, but it does not mean that improvements can’t be made. Below you’ll find some tips for dealing with a bad work environment.

Tips for Dealing with a Bad Work Environment

#1: Have a Daily Refocus Meeting

If you manage a team or the office as a whole, try to incorporate a daily refocus meeting with the group. By doing so, you can make sure everyone is on the same page with the big picture. Discuss goals and the focus of the day to help keep everyone on track. The objective is to maintain a focus at work, keep everyone positive, and deter people from office pettiness. If you don’t hold a management position, see if your supervisor would be willing to do this and explain your reasons why you feel it is necessary.

#2: Implement a Plan of Action

In the daily refocus meeting, express or suggest a series of steps that staff or coworkers will take to achieve the daily tasks. Again, if you are not in control of this, see if this is something you may be able to work out with your boss.

#3: Assist with Time Management

Some people do not do well with time management, and sometimes this occurs due to a lack of direction or not enough to do. With more time on their hands, it leaves room for work pettiness to happen. When you notice this, follow up with your staff on current projects and make sure they have a clear to-do list. You don’t need to micromanage, but you do need to keep tabs on projects. The challenge is to not overload them while also ensuring they do have enough to do to keep them focused throughout the day.

As the co-worker and not a manager, you can simply be an advocate for the daily office goals by not feeding into the negativity of others. It may get lonely, but you’ll keep yourself focused on what you are paid to do instead of paying attention to unimportant details and office drama.

#4: Take the High Road

Being the bigger person does not mean you are better than anyone else; it simply means that you are looking onward and upward. Remember, too, that we all have our own personal challenges we are facing, so try not to take comments or issues personally. Instead, see how the individual is doing and how you can help them, even if just taking them for lunch to let them vent about their life. Knowing someone cares may be all they need to help them find better outlets or ways of dealing with their problems.

As a former office manager, I have had to hold the position of mediator on more than one occasion in order to improve office morale. If you do not have control of this at your job, you can still avoid overstepping by having a one-on-one meeting with your boss and letting them know how the work environment is affecting your own productivity. You do not need to mention any names in the office, but it may prompt your manager to take action.

However, if you do not have a supportive boss, these are issues that may never be resolved, and it, unfortunately, may be time to look into other working for another company. Hopefully, though, the above advice can help you in your current situation, at least in some aspects.

What tips for dealing with a bad work environment would you add to the list? 

Independent Business vs. Franchise: Which One Is Right for You?

business-841174_640Today we have a guest post from Anum Yoon. Enjoy!

Being a small business owner has a number of benefits, especially for moms looking for some freedom when growing their family. As the owner of your own business, you’re able to set your own hours, work when you want to and generate some profit to help you and your family.

But being a business owner of any kind is some seriously challenging work. Whether you’re an independent business owner or the owner of a franchise, there are some benefits and drawbacks of each. Which one is right for you will depend on what you’re looking for out of your business.

Let’s take a look at a few of the things you need to know when deciding which is the right fit for you.

Independent Business Owner: The Good

As an independent business owner, you’re truly in control of the day-to-day operations. You’re able to decide what products or services you sell, how you sell them, the name of your company and what branding you use. You’re the CEO, fully capable of making business decisions.

This also means you really are in charge of the hours you work and the money you make. As an independent business owner, you can control how much time you spend working on your business. This is perfect for the stay-at-home mom with small children who need to be taken care of.

Independent Business Owner: The Bad

Being the CEO of your own company isn’t all glamorous. You’re solely responsible for the success of your business. You’re in charge of making the right branding choices, knowing what products or services your customer is looking for and creating the marketing strategies to help your business grow.

This can be incredibly time-consuming. If you’re hoping your business will bring in a full-time income, you need to dedicate some serious time to getting your business off the ground.

Franchise Owner: The Good

As a franchise owner, you’re able to eliminate some of the stress that comes with being a traditional entrepreneur. Because you’re buying into a company that has already established branding, products, services and general marketing techniques or offers, you’re able to jump into the business world with a lot of the work done for you.

Being a franchise owner also gives you access to other owners of similar franchises. This kind of connection system can be extremely valuable to new business owners trying to build a successful company. Not only that, but you have a direct relationship with the franchisor. Owning a franchise can help you find a mentor and give you some real-world experience with running a business.

Franchise Owner: The Bad

There have been many debates as to whether or not being a franchise owner truly equates to being an entrepreneur. If you have dreams of calling the shots, creating your own business and selling a product you love, owning a franchise may not be the right decision for you.

As a franchise owner, you likely have employees you need to manage, orders you need to fill and a demanding schedule relying on you to give your all each and every day. The success of your company is also connected to those around you, meaning you may pay the price of a mistake by another franchisee or the franchisor. For mothers, especially those with young children, you may not have the time to dedicate to owning a franchise.

It’s up to You

Both owning an independent business or a franchise can bring unique benefits and drawbacks. Being an independent business owner can give you some more flexibility, but you’ll need to be incredibly focused and disciplined if you want your business to become more than just a hobby. On the other hand, owning a franchise can set you up with a business and team that wants to see you succeed, but it may mean a serious time commitment.

Knowing which is right for you depends on what you’re hoping to get out of the business-owning experience. Consider your needs and the needs of your family when making your decision.

Anum Yoon is a millennial money blogger and writer who absolutely loves sharing her insights on personal finance, lifestyle and health. You can read her financial tips on her blog, Current on Currency.

What You Need to Know About Secured Business Loans

hand-427509_640Whether you’re (finally!) turning your Etsy dreams into reality, you’re tired of the corporate grind and want to head out on your own, or you’re already at the helm of a growing firm, the fact remains that working capital is essential to your business’s success – and frankly, to its survival as well.

This means sooner or later, it’s almost certain that you’ll want to explore business loan options so you can invest in new technology, buy new equipment, hire new talent, expand into new markets, launch marketing campaigns – and the list goes on. The good news is that there are plenty of products on the business loan landscape.

The bad news is that things can get confusing in a hurry. To clear things up and help you make a safe and smart funding decision, let’s look at one of the most popular options: secured business loans.

Now, part of the confusion around the term secured business loans, is that you might think these loans are, well, “more secure” compared unsecured business loans. There’s actually some truth in this, but the added security factor has nothing to do with you, and everything to do with the lender.

That’s because in order to obtain a secured business loan, you need to pledge adequate assets that you own (a.k.a. collateral), which you’ll lose if you default on the loan. Collateral can include physical items such as cars, property, land, equipment and so on, or it can include intangible items like stocks and other securities, mortgages, accounts receivables, and so on.

In exchange for pledging sufficient collateral, a lender will typically offer you a lower interest rate and a longer repayment period than if the loan was unsecured. But what happens if you don’t have enough collateral? Will you still get the business loan you need?

It depends on each lender’s policies. Banks, for instance, only offer secured business loans. However, many firms in the alternative lending marketplace offer secured, unsecured and partially-secured loans. The latter is typically defined as a loan in which the pledged assets are valued at less than 51 percent of the amount borrowed.

You also might be wondering who gets to choose the value of a pledged asset. For example, you may have industrial equipment that, based on your research, is worth $50,000. However, it’s ultimately up to each lender to make their own evaluation. Some lenders are more reasonable and realistic than others. Banks have a well-earned reputation for under-valuing assets, because it further reduces their risk.

Before wrapping up, it’s important for you to understand that lenders don’t want to take ownership of your assets. They want you to pay back your loan per the terms and conditions – and so do you. However, collateral is there “just in case” that doesn’t happen the way it should. Be assured that if you partner with a credible and qualified lender, they’ll do what they can to help you succeed; because when that happens they succeed, too!