With the year we have had in 2020, many businesses have had to pivot and move their operations online with employees working from home, and it shows. Zoom saw a huge increase in subscribers and revenue because of the impact the pandemic had on businesses.
So perhaps you may have had to do a few online meetings and presentations of late. Tell me, were the faces you saw either buried in their phones, distracted, checking other websites, or looking like they would rather be elsewhere?
One thing I learned from being a corporate trainer in my previous roles is that my audience gets the most out of me when they are just as invested and engaged in the process.
The same can be said about creating a positive workplace culture. It’s something that everyone is responsible for whether you’re the speaker or in the audience.
From a corporate perspective, when overall employees are happier and healthier, employees want to stay, take fewer sick days, and their productivity and work performance increases.
More than ever, it’s more important as mental health issues are on the rise, as people are feeling isolated and having to adjust with new working conditions.
Here are five ways that you can stay positive at work whether that’s at home or in the office regardless of your title.
There was a positive psychology study where they were able to show that people who spent time every day focusing on what they were grateful for were 25% happier.
Being a happier person means you are more likely to be more resilient when faced with stressful situations at work and have more compassion and deep respect for your colleagues. Starting or ending your working day with gratitude breeds a positive attitude.
Using Positive Language
We breathe life with our words. In my work, I often see clients feeling affected by a situation at work because of what someone said. Communication is two folds. It’s not enough to throw your words at someone and not be responsible for how that communication lands for them.
People are generally more receptive to constructive feedback when delivered in an empowering way. Reflect back on past experience and ask yourself, what could you have done differently to elicit a more positive response?
Recognize the Small Stuff
It’s said that some people will do more for recognition than a pay increase. Humans are naturally wired to be more negative — it’s what makes us great risk assessors, allows us to make calculated decisions, and ensure the survival of the species. However, this primitive part of our brain can cause us to focus on what’s going wrong rather than what’s going right.
So it’s important to celebrate the small stuff and not just the big wins. If employees are recognized for the hard work they’re doing regardless of the outcome, they are more likely to keep persevering. This means, when we’re tackling a task, often these tasks are broken down to smaller action steps, so recognizing the small incremental steps is just as important as the big wins.
The Smile and the Magic in the Power Pose
The body has a powerful ability to change how we think and feel. When we smile and stand in the power pose, legs standing shoulder length apart, hands on the waist, heart lifted to the sky, and chin raised, something biologically happens and starts to shift negative energy. Do it long enough and it boosts positive thoughts and feelings. Studies have shown doing this has been just as effective as taking antidepressant drugs.
“Smiling is a way of tricking your brain into thinking that everything’s okay, even if it’s not,” according to Professor Jane Plant. “People who are mildly depressed should do their best to show the world a happy face, as that will improve people’s reaction to you and lift your mood.”
Smile and stand tall for a few minutes before a call and meeting to get you in the right mindset.
Develop Real Connections
Recently, I was watching an episode of a popular show on Netflix, and it was focused on a young 20-year-old activist who had the weight of the world on her shoulders. From being a student, working, and being an activist, she had no time for play or connection.
We spend the majority of our time at work, so developing real connections at work is not only healthy but is the quickest route to developing a positive workplace culture. When we have trust and respect among peers, teamwork makes the dream work.
So imagine being asked to run a Zoom meeting and you’re greeted by your peers with positivity and enthusiasm.
You’d feel pretty amazing because positivity is contagious, and it starts with you.
What are some of the other ways that help you stay positive at work?