A Guide to Creating a Positive Working Environ

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As Jim Rohn once said: “you either run the day or the day runs you”. Creating a positive work environment is instrumental in fostering yours and your team’s success, but it can often be overlooked.

Take on board our office hacks to ensure that you maintain that can-do atmosphere at work, and don’t fall foul of common workplace difficulties.

Mind your body language

We give away 80% of what we’re thinking in non-verbal communication. When we become demotivated, it shows in the way that we carry ourselves.

Remember the basics: keep your posture in check and make meeting spaces fidget-free zones. Maintain eye contact with your colleagues, and if you need to contribute to the meeting, give yourself the time to think about what you are saying so you can articulate yourself clearly.

Ensure that these smaller acts don’t slip away over time, as acting the part leads to being the part.

Personalise your space

Sometimes, we all need a little inspiration. When we’re faced with a blank office space, we can lack the motivation to carry out the work that needs to be done.

Even if it’s some photos, a quirky desk organiser, a mouse mat or even a personalised screensaver, making your office environment your own will help you associate with your work more positively.

Tackle and prioritise tasks

It’s easy to spend the entire day putting off the one task that needs a lot of attention, whether it’s particularly tricky, requires collaborative work, simply takes a lot of time.

Be brave, grab a cup of coffee, and tackle it first thing in the morning. Once it’s done, you have your entire day to fill with smaller, more pleasurable tasks without that one weighing on your mind.

Switch off from social media

The news feed is a powerful thing. Now that notifications are designed to operate in the same way as an endorphin release, it’s harder than ever to say ‘sayonara’ to social media.

Although it can be hard to pull the plug, allocate times to check Facebook and Twitter. If you find that self-control is often in short supply, apps such as Self Control, Leechblock and StayFocused are a free and easy way of removing your eyes from the rolling command of the mouse.

Synchronise with your team

Wunderlist and Todoist are free, multi-platform applications in which the team’s workload can be separated and organised to your heart’s content.

Busy organisations can also make use of Google Calendar: a free and easy way to share your calendar with another member of the team, regardless of whether or not you have a Google account.

Another free option, UpTo can track a person’s activity in real time, with the ability to create groups so you can share calendar events with specific members of the team.

Learn the art of feedback

Supplying feedback is integral to keeping yours and your workforce’s motivation alive. According to Office Vibe, 43% of highly engaged employees receive feedback once a week, compared to the 18% that suffer from low engagement.

For feedback to work at its best, provide timely, focused information about a worker’s performance that is constructive. It’s good to remember that feedback is about being positive, too.

Telling someone why they have performed well will benefit both parties, as they are sure to use that particular skill again in future.

Keep open-minded when you’re receiving feedback, too. Listen to what the other person is saying, and take time to process their thoughts without diving in head first.

Critcising someone else’s criticism is a mind-bending exercise that will do neither of you any favours. Practice active listening, thank the colleague for their time and above anything else, do not take it personally.

Receiving someone else’s perspective is a refreshing necessity, and it is essential in building your performance and achieving your long-term goals.

What are your tips for creating a positive working environment? Let us know on Twitter at @viking_chat.