4 Ways to Change Your Lousy Work Environment
Sometimes we all get a case of the Mondays (and the Tuesdays, and Wednesdays, and Thursdays, and Fridays). In other words, sometimes we would rather do anything than go to work. Work can get monotonous for anyone, but if you enjoy your actual job, and you regularly still don’t want to go to work, then you may be suffering from a poor work environment. Many things can contribute to a bad work environment, such as poor relationships with your co-workers or boss, but there are some jobs that are just toxic (in which case you might need to find a new job). If you’re sure it isn’t your job itself, then you can take steps to improve your work environment, and hopefully you will start enjoying (or at least, tolerating) going to work each morning. Here are four ways you can make your work environment more enjoyable.
1. Improve your work relationships
If you’re having co-worker problems, fixing them should be one of your top priorities. Not only will your boss notice if you are spending time fighting with co-workers or participating in office gossip, but if you feel negatively about your co-workers, this can cause a toxic work environment. First, take inventory of the problem, and who is involved. If possible, talk to the person or people about the issue, but if you can’t do that, consider whether there is another way to fix the problem. For example, if you feel that your co-workers are constantly dumping their work on you, but you’re not comfortable bringing up the problem, you can learn how to say no, which will reduce their power over you. Also be sure to keep things professional, not personal.
Improving your relationship with your boss will also help; even if you can’t stand your boss, you can still make your work environment more pleasant by trying your best to get along.
2. Rethink your social media use
Although many work places will restrict social media access, workers can still access social media from their phones. Using social media can distract from your actual work, which can cause you to take time to get back on task, and in the end you may fall behind; this can add stress to your work environment. In addition to affecting your productivity, using social media can also affect your work environment even if you only use it outside of the office. Some social media mistakes can get you fired, and even if you’re not fired, it can be difficult to concentrate on work if you’re thinking about your co-worker’s profile picture or latest inappropriate tweet (or they’re thinking about yours).
3. Speak up
If you feel uncomfortable, angry, or depressed at work, you may need to take a chance and speak up. This is different than building relationships; if you fear going to work, or someone is doing something that makes you uneasy, then your best bet may be to talk to human resources if your boss won’t listen (or if your boss is the problem).
If the reason your work environment needs improvement isn’t quite so catastrophic, then speaking up still might help. If you’re having a hard time being positive because you haven’t gotten a raise, then it’s time to ask for one; be sure to research your worth first.
4. Make a change
If you feel like the processes that your company follows are ineffective, or you think that things could be done better, then go ahead and prove it. Create new ways to accomplish tasks more efficiently, or come up with new marketing ideas to reach more important clients if you interact with clients and you think your team needs to branch out. It’s important not to overstep your boundaries; it’s a good idea to check with your boss before doing anything too risky. At the same time, if you work with people who don’t believe that anything needs to change, then you might need to prove them wrong with hard evidence. If you create a way for the company to be more effective, in the end you will save time and money, so go ahead and try.
We all have bad days at work, but if you feel that your work environment is truly awful, then it might be time to implement some changes.