“In order to carry a positive action we must develop here a positive vision.” – Dalai Lama

The average person will spend over 90,000 hours of their life at work. That’s a long time to spend somewhere that makes you unhappy or nervous. One of the hardest things to discern when starting a new job is the working atmosphere and the kinds of people you’ll be working it. It’s more or less a coin toss. In other words, you might make friends for life, or you’ll make enemies for life.

If you find yourself working in a place with negative energy, that can take a real toll on your life outside of work as well. Fortunately, there are many ways to keep up the positive thinking when you work somewhere you don’t particularly enjoy. From little changes in your routine to small lifestyle hacks, here are some ways to keep your workplace positive – even if your coworkers are doing everything they can to make your day miserable.

Here Are 7 Ways to Keep Your Workplace Positive

1. Find causes for celebration

Most workplaces these days involve at least some amount of teamwork. Whether you’re working together to a close deadline, or to hit a particular performance point, there will always be something that’s reliant on more than one person. Make sure to celebrate good performances with your coworkers as much as you can. Very few people can stay sour during a celebration and you’ll find that it’ll uplift the general spirits in your office. If you don’t get the chance to do much teamwork, celebrate holidays and random days – International Pet Day, International Book Day, International Women’s Day. Put your heads together and figure out a fun activity to brighten up everyone’s day and you’ll see smiles appear on even the grumpiest faces.

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2. Have lunch outside

One of the reasons you might be feeling down at your workplace is because you spend all your time at your desk – even when you’re supposed to be having a few moments of downtime! We know it can be hard to break away from work for an hour, but consider this: it’s your time to take a break and not stare at the screen you stare at for the other eight hours of the day. Go outside and get some fresh air. Maybe socialize with some co-workers and figure out somewhere to go together. Don’t have lunch at your desk, because that’ll destroy any positive thoughts you have of your workplace.

3. Be a team player

The importance of teamwork isn’t only for the job interview, so make sure to listen to what everyone on your team has to say. Good ideas can come from all sorts of places. When you show a readiness to listen to everyone’s opinion and voice, you will gain respect in your coworkers’ eyes. It can be tempting to be a stickler for the rules but, let’s face it, no one likes a stickler. Do your best to express an open-mind towards new ideas from your team. This will build up your reputation as a trustworthy and reliable co-worker.

4. Random acts of kindness

Did you buy a day ticket for the bus that you won’t need anymore? Leave it by the workplace printer. Did you have some extra brownies leftover from last night? Bring them to work with you. You don’t have to attach your name to every single little thing you do either. Sometimes, people just like knowing there’s a friendly soul among them, someone ready to do selfless acts for others. Things like that uplift the communal spirit and encourage even more kindness to spread (maybe you’ll even get some free baked goods out of it).

5. Find meaning in your days

When you do the same thing over and over again, every day, it’s easy to convince yourself that what you do doesn’t matter. Don’t miss a chance to remind yourself and others of the importance in the work you all do. It’s very easy to forget, especially if you work the same job day in and day out. Whether you bring it up in casual conversation or in chats with your senior manager, point out that you recognize the benefit you bring to your company, or the positive and purposeful aspects of people you work with. Finding meaning and purpose in tasks does wonders to uplift everyone’s spirits.

6. Be constructive in your criticism

No one likes being criticized; however, they look at criticism differently if you give them ways to improve. Don’t think of criticism as an argument. See it more as a chance to give someone feedback. Don’t be confrontational in your workplace, but be supportive and understanding. Explain your point of view and how you think this person could do better in a particular task. You’ll find that more of your coworkers will find they prefer to receive feedback from you after this.

7. Brighten up your office space

You might think that things like framed pictures or motivational quotes or drawings pinned on the boards in the workplace are a bit cheesy, but you realize soon just what a difference they can make. Office buildings have the habit of being monotonous and depressing – especially if you work in a cubicle. Brighten up your space and it won’t only affect your mood but it’ll also showcase your creativity and personality to others around you. Besides, everyone likes having decorations around and a well-decorated space does wonders for mental health. Try it. You might be surprised at the effect it has on you and others!

Final thoughts

Working somewhere full of negativity is a hard task, but the change can always start with you. You might feel despondent and think that there’s no way to change the way someone thinks or reacts. Just try some of the tips in this article, and we’re confident you’ll soon feel positivity flowing back into your workplace. Make the most of those 90,000 hours of your life – it’s too short to waste on negative emotions.


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