As thousands of Facebook daily affirmation posts will tell you, positivity can solve a lot of problems and help you get the most out of life. Let's be clear, though, having a positive attitude at work is more than just inspirational quotes and fake smiles.
Having a great attitude for each workday starts with showing up on time and requires investment in every moment after that. You attack important projects and busywork with equal zeal. You focus on solutions rather than problems. Above all, you avoid acting like a drone that mindlessly completes tedious tasks and secretly wishes to be anywhere else than at your desk.
So where does all this effort get you? Let's take a look at 10 ways a positive attitude improves your life at work - and beyond.
1. It Facilitates Teamwork
Everyone has terrible memories of school projects, where no one got along, half the group partners didn't do their share of the work, and the other half were bitter about having to pick up the slack. The results were always lacklustre at best, and everyone's grade suffered equally. Despite everyone being older now and supposedly wiser, the same kind of negative vibes can ruin collaborations at work.
While you can't control anyone but yourself, the good news is that an upbeat attitude is infectious. If you are enthusiastic about tackling tough assignments, are always prepared with fresh ideas, and focus on the positive aspects of work instead of nit-picking the problems, people around you will start reacting the same way.
A positive attitude also makes you more approachable, so your co-workers will be more interested in asking for advice or a brainstorming session. The many benefits of teamwork in the workplace include better productivity, innovation, and conflict resolution. That all contributes to the success of your company, which means better job security for you.
2. It Helps You Make Friends
Being diligent and earnest in getting through your share of the workload can make you popular with your co-workers, but you should also include more direct approaches to creating a positive environment. Offer to help a colleague with tedious inventory, mediate minor disputes between your cubicle mates, or pick up pastries for everyone on the way to work.
Making someone's day better, even with a hilarious meme, will help you make friends at work. It may take a little extra effort and selflessness, but ultimately both your job and your social life should be a lot more fun.
3. It Decreases Stress
Bad days happen, and it's normal to get stressed about demanding bosses, short deadlines, or unforeseen catastrophes. Yet, those who dwell on setback and lose motivation may soon feel completely overwhelmed. Intense work-related stress can lead to anxiety and depression, as well as exacerbating existing health issues.
Maintaining a positive attitude every day isn't easy, but it's something you can learn. Focusing on solutions, asking for help with difficult situations before they escalate, using affirmative language to build confidence, and keeping a list of daily accomplishments will help you see the bright side of the workday and keep your stress levels in check.
4. It Increases Productivity
You probably already know that getting work done is a lot easier when you're in the right frame of mind. Dreading failure, perpetuating bad work habits, and getting hung up on small obstacles can leave you feeling uninspired and unable to complete your work.
Small changes in your thinking can help turn that around, however. Find enjoyment in the more interesting parts of a task. Collaborate with others to capitalise on their expertise as well as keeping yourself engaged with conversation and brainstorming. Visualise the positive end results as you work through a difficult project. Any technique you use to maintain a positive attitude contributes to a very productive day.
5. It Improves Customer Service
We've all had that experience in a shop or on the phone, trying unsuccessfully to get assistance from an employee that couldn't care less about her job, you, or her entire environment. Even if you eventually get help from another worker or manager, your frustration levels drive you to take your business elsewhere in future.
Excellent customer service is vital to your job, whether you own the company or simply work there. A positive attitude helps you greet customers with a genuine smile, treat their concerns with empathy, and stay patient when they're confused or upset. Keeping the clientele happy helps maintain a welcoming atmosphere and encourages repeat business.
6. It Helps You Handle Adversity Better
A can-do attitude is especially handy when things go pear-shaped at work. If you're already confident in your abilities, caught up on your work, and in sync with your team, it's a lot easier to remain calm, evaluate the situation rationally and find a quick solution.
Staying positive also empowers you to make tough decisions and stand up for yourself in a difficult situation. You'll feel safe enough to own up to mistakes — an important trait that is appreciated by both colleagues and bosses.
7. It Earns You Good Will with Management
Being constantly negative and complaining about every issue is the fastest way to make you an outcast at work. Management will also be unhappy because just as a positive attitude is catching, a Debbie Downer can also bring down overall morale and productivity.
Your goal is to increase that positive atmosphere at your job. When you show up on time, get right to work, look for quick solutions to problems, and help out your colleagues, managers take notice of your contribution to improved teamwork, fresh ideas and solid customer service.
Happy employees that feel a sense of camaraderie with their co-workers often translates to lower turnover, which also makes life easier for your boss. You'll be considered a valuable asset, giving you more job security and hopefully a pay rise.
8. It Keeps You Open to New Ideas
If you're feeling consistently negative about your job, you'll usually end up stuck in a rut, just trying to get through the same tasks each day. Keep your mind open about the possibilities each day might bring instead. That positive attitude helps boost your creative thinking skills, and getting those innovative ideas flowing could lead to a new product launch or a more streamlined workflow.
Finishing the day with a taste of success helps you keep that great attitude for tomorrow, continuing the cycle that will help you achieve even more.
9. It Helps You Advance in Your Career
As we've seen above, having a positive, productive, and useful attitude at work creates a lot of opportunity for you. When you are confident enough to communicate cutting-edge ideas to your colleagues and supervisors and are known to follow-through, you are a likely candidate for promotion.
A good attitude and collaborative spirit can also get you noticed by another department at work, opening doors to a different career path than the one you expected. Your self-assurance and open mind will also keep you aware of opportunities outside your current place of employment, leading you to the next step up in your career.
10. It Gives You More Good Days at Work
Since you'll likely spend a significant portion of your life at work, isn't it sensible to try and make the most of it? Aside from benefits to your company, your colleagues, and your career, a positive attitude at work just makes every day better for you. You'll find the humour in crazy situations, excitement about learning something new, and even appreciation for the sun streaming in your office window. A good life doesn't have to wait until quitting time.
The best thing about having the right attitude at your job is that it builds upon itself, creating valuable opportunities and rewards that make it easier to be optimistic each day.
Has a positive attitude helped you connect with your colleagues or put you on the fast track to promotion? Join the discussion below and share your experiences with us!