11 Habits That Create a Positive Work Environment

Whether you work at an office or at home, maintaining a positive work environment is essential to your overall success.  The energy within your work environment can affect your mood, your drive, your concentration and your performance. This energy can uplift you or slowly suck the life out of you. Because experts have found a true correlation between your environment, your productivity and your creativity, they often suggest “a change in environment” to free you from stagnation and STRESS!

A positive work environment doesn’t just depend on the culture in the workplace. It also depends on your personal habits, but we’ll get to that later. Let’s start with ways you can influence others to embrace a positive workspace.

CAUTION: Continuing to read further may lead to increased productivity and overall better work experience.

1. Build a Sense of Morale

An employee or team morale dictates everyone’s level of satisfaction with the individuals they’re working with and the faith they have in the mission of the entity in which they are investing their energy — and more importantly, their time.

Try to begin each week with a 15 to 30 minute meeting where the team can set goals, express concerns, express ideas or even express gratitude for one another.

Prioritizing this public forum to enforce effective communcation skills in any professional setting acknowledges the feelings of the team, makes them feel valued, and initiates the start of a positive week.

2. Be Considerate

One of the most frustrating tasks is to pick up someone else’s slack after they’ve lost files, their work is a mess, or they rushed to complete a crucial document right before jetting out for a two-week vacation. I completely understand your negligence to scream “bon voyage!”.

Time is our most valuable asset. If someone has to double their efforts and take on your responsibilities, you are indirectly communicating that you don’t care about their time. 

Be considerate and show respect by making an effort to avoid bombarding your team with your mess.

3. Make Time

It can be challenging to balance intimate conversations with your team and urgent client calls or meetings, but that connection with your team is a key aspect of establishing a positive work environment.

Especially when you’re a leader, you play an essential role in keeping the organization bound together. With regular connections with your team, you’ll generate the feedback necessary to lay a strong foundation for your entity.

It’s okay to reschedule; just don’t allow important conversations to be continuously disregarded to the point that you forget to have them.

Doing work that stimulates a sense of purpose, the ability to depend on each other, clear protocol, and structure are all parts that come together to construct a solid foundation for a positive workplace.

But don’t forget there are some personal habits that you can implement to keep this foundation stable.

Personal Habits That Create a Positive Work Environment

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4. Start the Day Off Right

A positive work environment begins before you sit at your desk. 

Take a few minutes at the beginning of each day to listen to personal or professional audiobooks, podcast, or inspirational music. 

You can schedule this in during your commute, as you are getting dressed, or while drinking your morning coffee.

“When there is no enemy within, the enemy outside can do you no harm.” — African Proverb.  Take the time to foster positivity within yourself.

5. Form a Plan

Planning your day for success will increase your ability to execute! 

Organize your day based on what you want to achieve that day or week.  Begin with the end of your day in mind.

Utilize daily objectives and schedules as much as possible. This may require setting boundaries for co-workers or family members or just saying NO to last-minute activities.

6. Take Scheduled Breaks

Even if it’s only for 15 minutes, you need to strategically place breaks in your schedule so that you don’t burn out.

Scientifically speaking “The frontal lobe brain networks—responsible for reasoning, planning, decision-making, and judgment—work for you in creative ways when the brain is quiet, not while you are effortfully trying to find a solution to a problem. Moments of insight increase as the brain unwinds. Why? When not actively tackling a task, the brain connects random ideas and consolidates these with prior knowledge into exciting new thoughts, ideas, directions, and potential solutions.”

This improves your problem-solving ability and productivity.

7. Push Emails To The Side — Momentarily

If you check emails as soon as you start working you’re likely to drive yourself insane very early.

Schedule regular intervals (at least 2-3 times) throughout the day to do things like check emails and make phone calls.

I recommend not scheduling your first email “check-in” until after you’ve dealt with the most important tasks of the day. This system allows you to avoid the black hole of responding to emails and being on the phone for hours.

Instead of only finishing small tasks, you can fight through the bigger challenges and end your day feeling accomplished.

8. Watch What You Eat & Exercise

Let’s be real. We all indulge here and there.

But the truth is the excessive consumption of sugary foods can cause dangerous, impulsive spikes in your blood sugar levels, which affect your mental clarity.

Low-glycemic foods release a slower, more controlled amount of glucose into your body, which can optimize focus. (According to The Franklin Institute)

Physical activities are known to improve your breathing, which lowers your heart rate and blood pressure.

Exercising isn’t only beneficial for your cardiovascular system. It also helps to elevate your mood. The excretion of endorphins during physical activity can immediately boost your mood and reduce stress levels.

9. Ask For Help

We often tend to feel like a burden when we ask for assistance. But sometimes it makes everyone’s life easier.

Maybe you want to go on that two-week vacation but you want to be considerate of your team’s feelings before dropping a heavy load of work on them.

Talk to your partners to figure out what tasks you can delegate to them ahead of time. Assuming tasks are distributed, things will get done quicker and more efficiently.

10. Practice The Four Agreements

The Four Agreements are practices that help individuals overcome self-limiting beliefs that cause unnecessary suffering. Follow these agreements to maintain peace.

  1. Be impeccable with your word. Complete tasks and assignments in a timeline manner protecting your credibility. 
  2. Don’t take anything personally. Not all criticism is negative. The proper use of this feedback can create an opportunity to grow. But even if it’s negative criticism, don’t take it personally.
  3. Don’t make assumptions.  Always ask questions. The person asking the questions is the one with the control.
  4. Always do your best. It not only displays good character but builds confidence.

11. Avoid Office Politics

There will be occasions where individuals working in your organization will attempt to use their power to receive promotions that are only beneficial to them.

It’s imperative that you stay focused on what is progressive for the organization.

Creating a positive work environment for yourself has a great deal to do with your self-management. We have more control over the level of positivity we experience at work than we think.

Our responses to our workload, co-workers, environment and stress levels is a matter of choice.

Every organization has its own specific needs. Do you need more insight on how you can cultivate a positive environment within your workspace? Feel free to contact me!

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