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? 

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