The problems that you face in your everyday life don’t disappear when you walk through the door of your workplace. However, when you are at work, you are expected to leave those problems behind. With the combined stress of life and your job, it can be hard not to just blow up and destroy everything in your path some days.
However, lashing out at coworkers, gossiping, or saying hurtful things while at work can lead to a hostile work environment and create a negative work culture. There are a few things to keep in mind so you can do your part in helping to maintain a professional work environment.
Personal Lives Do Not Disappear at the Workplace Door
Something that could help you maintain a level of professionalism at work is to remember that everyone is living their own lives outside of work. Just because you may not see them outside of work does not mean that they stop existing.
Remember that if you are stressed with the things that are happening outside of your job, so are your coworkers. When you are annoyed with them and feel like they are not being considerate of your stress, think about how your stress might be adding to theirs.
Take a deep breath and remember that they are dealing with stress of their own. Do your best to respect your coworkers and be mindful of the stress that they might be dealing with. When you demonstrate understanding and respect, you will be doing your part in maintaining a professional work environment.
Model Effective and Professional Communication
Another way that you can improve the professionalism in the office is to establish and maintain effective communication. Set a standard for how news is transmitted and what kind of news. Whether that be through email, notices posted in the break room, or weekly newsletters, find ways that your place of work can communicate more effectively.
Not everyone needs to know everything that is going on, especially if it does not pertain to their role. However, there needs to be an established professional and effective method of communication to prevent the spread of misinformation, as that often leads to confusion and frustrations in the workplace.
Avoid the Temptation of Drama and Gossip
If reality television show ratings have taught us anything it is that people love drama and the workplace is where drama seems to thrive. Everyone has lives outside of work, and it is easy for the problems of your personal life to become the problems of your work life. And your coworkers are bound to find out.
It is easy to fall into the trap of wanting to discuss your personal life and the personal lives of your coworkers but do your best not to do so. This might be easier said than done, but by keeping the personal troubles of your coworkers out of your conversations you can help make your work environment more professional.
This is not to say that you should be apathetic when your coworker is having a rough time, but be mindful of the personal information your coworkers share with you. Avoid gossip and petty conversations, and remember that you have a job to do. You need to be on good terms with everyone to get that job done. Resist the temptation to fall into gossip and drama, and you will be able to help maintain a professional work environment.
When Your Work Environment Affects Your Personal Life
What can you do if the less-than-professional environment of your workplace is affecting your personal life? You need the job to help support your family, but the stress you are taking home with you is putting an emotional strain on your family relationships.
If this sounds familiar, give us a call. One of our professional therapists can work with you to develop strategies for helping to make your workplace more professional or to simply remove yourself from a situation that has become toxic.