How to Create Positivity in the Workplace
We spend the majority of our time at work, so why not make your workplace a place of peace and positivity? If you’re like me, you’re in and out of the office throughout the day. The moments I do spend at work are the moments where I ‘need’ peace for a sense of calamity in the workplace. I work in social work and when my job becomes frustrating, I like knowing my work space is a place - a sanctuary of sorts - where I can de-stress. As I continue to grow, learn and build in the workplace, I’m observing and noting strategies that work.
Minimize negative words
As we go about our days, we are constantly engaged in conversation whether that be in person, a phone call or an email. What you say reflects the overall vibe in the workplace. In social work, the desire to change language and eliminate negative words is powerful. Keep a journal by your desk or a small one in your pocket. As you notice or hear negative words coming out of your mouth, write it down. Recognize and reflect. After time, you might see yourself minimizing negative language.
Create a break room
If you work in a space that allows or has a break room, take it upon yourself to make small changes. In my office, our break room is bland and invites almost no one to sit during their lunch break. Go to a supervisor or office manager and suggest a comfy chair, a brightly colored table or even something as simple as a motivational vision board. If your workplace does not allow for a break room, create a safe space outdoors that welcomes employees.
Positivity stars (or whatever shape you like)
We all like to know we’re doing a good job at work. We all deserve a pat on the back, a smile or even an anonymous remark from a co-worker who may want to recognize our accomplishments. Leave blank pieces of paper out (in funky shapes if you please) so that employees can write a short note to a co-worker. If you have the space, tack up the comments on the board and display them for all to see. Or, if you don’t have space or budget, put the compliment cards in a hat and share them every Friday.
Simple conversation pieces
Simple conversation pieces - like the bicycle wheel you picked up on a hike or the animal bone you found while hiking in Arizona can spark a great interaction with someone new. Invite your co-workers to bring an interesting object or piece of artwork to work (think show-and-tell). Each week, make an effort to invite a co-worker you may not typically speak to on a daily basis to the break room and just like magic, you have a positive conversation starter.
Start a Wellness Corner
A wellness corner is whatever you make of it! Imagine a small space within your work space that housed a book nook, a humidifier and a book of poetry. As we go about our workday, we are subject to stress and sometimes, stress leads to negativity. A wellness corner is a safe space - a place of positivity. Part of creating positivity is creating positivity in your body. If you feel good, you’re more likely to spread kindness. Invite a massage therapist to give out five minute massages one day a month. Create a small juice bar or experiment with new flavors to give you and your employees a special treat. Oh, and don’t forget to name your wellness corner and define the space (corner it off or convert a closet) so that there’s a clear distinction of its purpose.
It only takes one person to instigate positivity in a workplace that may otherwise be plagued with negativity. Small changes may take time, but they will create change in the long-run.