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Finding yourself trapped in a toxic work environment can be a stressful experience. You cannot even fake a smile as you need to struggle and survive when working under negative atmosphere at work. As stifling as it might be, leaving the job is not an option as well, given that you might be working with certain contract system that makes you unable to leave any time or you find it difficult to land a new job in today’s tough economic conditions. At the end of the day, you have no choice but to brace yourself and stay in the company until you can find better solution .

Maintaining professionalism in the toxic workplace is a challenge. Cheri Torres, a business leadership coach and an author, says that employees cannot work at their best in a distasteful workplace, while their mental health and wellbeing is at risk as well. So how to minimise such risk and stay productive in a toxic work environment?

Here are some tips to help you cope with a stressful life at the workplace:

01 Set boundaries

Limit yourself when interacting with the toxic people or environment around you. You might not realise it but if you still find yourself hanging around in an environment with negative vibes, eventually you will turn to be one of them as the environment you are living in can shape your personality and behaviour.

Of course, you don’t want to change who you truly are, let alone becoming one of those toxic employees. In this case, you should surround yourself with positive energy and if possible, stay far away from or limit your interaction with negative environment as well as the people who create it.

02 Don’t expect people to be nice

You cannot control what people say or do to you. You can, however, control how you react to such action. You should find a way out of that situation by accepting people’s behaviour around you. The sooner you accept that, then the better you can adapt and know where you should stand within the setting. This realisation will help empower you to improve your wellbeing at work. The point is, if you cannot control people, then learn how to control yourself because anger cannot solve anything, it will only give you regret.

03 Self-talk to yourself

Have you ever tried to talk to yourself?

Well, many people already did this and the impact is amazing. Self-talk can be either good or bad for your mental health because the source of this talk is yourself. Doing a self-talk can increase your mental well-being as you can try to spend few hours motivating yourself and let the positive attitudes come in your way. You can also take a walk around the office space and observe the good things by yourself; this will regain the positive energy in your mind. Besides, this simple practice can affect your daily life and can be your mood booster at work.

04 Reach out for help

Another thing you can do when stuck in a toxic work environment is to reach out for help. You might feel embarrassed to admit that but by asking for other’s opinion, you can find another way out from someone else’s perspective. It is good to talk to trusted colleague or friends even though they aren’t working in the same company as you. You can either get solutions for your problem or at least get someone to listen to your problems.

05 Take it as a lesson  

See your current condition as a part of learning experience. If you cannot deal with the toxic environment anymore, you can take it as a good learning experience. People say “the struggle you are in today is developing the strength you need for tomorrow”, meaning that personal strength can be built from difficult situations. Pay close attention to the situation, for instance you can learn from the bad management that you never want to do twice or your leader’s behaviour that you don’t want to imitate when you become a leader someday. Take as much necessary as the lesson you can and utilise it to achieve your own self-growth.

Next read: Got an Interview? Get Rid of These 9 Behaviours

7 Signs of Comfortable Yet Productive Workplace

Are you comfortable at your workplace? If yes, there is a chance that you’re enjoying it too much, and you weren’t able to be productive enough to meet your employer’s expectations. Indeed, it’s quite tricky to create a comfortable workspace, yet still be productive at the same time.

Employers have an obligation to create a pleasant work environment for the well-being of their employees. Plus, every workplace could benefit from some improvements. From increasing productivity of employees, to bigger impact such as greater profits.

Here are seven signs of a dream working environment:

1. It’s everybody’s choice

The boss may own the office (or the one who pay the rent) but allows the employees to give opinions about the workspace and decide together on the kind of environment they wish to work in since it is the employees that will be spending most of their time in this office.  

When a workspace is a loveable environment for everyone, they would love to stay there as long as they can.
 

2. Encouraging everyone to be healthier

A comfortable yet productive workspace values its employees’ health and well-being. The company might not be able to transform the office to be a gym, but they could have a few healthy perks or even better, provide you with unlimited healthy snacks!

3. It inspires many

Some companies showcase some of the best quotes in the world inside the office. It reminds everyone to be motivated and be better every single day. Perhaps you can suggest putting some quote paintings or similar in the office. (again, decide as a team).
 

4. It’s spacious enough

Nobody feels comfortable in a crowded room, especially at work! Is your office spacious enough? A spacious environment allows employees to be more focused without breaking the team’s dynamic.
 

5. It has a quiet/break room

Some of the employees need a quiet environment to work when they have to focus. Does your office provide such a room (or rooms) in this case? It’s a ‘special’ room for everybody to calm down, relax, collect their thoughts while searching for innovative ideas or solutions.
 

6. It’s lively

A  comfortable working environment will also mean working in a vibrant environment with a good amount of sunlight streaming through. Also, have you heard? Adding plants to your workspace can boost your productivity too!
 

7. It’s all about good relationships

The workspace might be physically perfect, but if the boss and the employees don’t have good relationships, it won’t matter a lot. A great workplace is usually filled with happy people who support each other. It might be the last, but certainly not the least.

4 Reasons You Should Not Competing Against Your Colleagues

Do you see your colleagues as rivals? You might be competing with them for your boss’ attention, or to get a promotion. But in the end, aren’t you all on the same team? Think again.

For ambitious people, a little competition with the colleagues might be necessary. They need extra motivation to achieve better results. They are just naturally competitive at heart.

Conversely, being the ‘beaten’ employee could result in a lower self-esteem. Indeed, to regularly compare yourself with a co-worker can be self-defeating, and it could affect your overall work performance.

While several employees in a company could compete for a single position, you should not let it ruin the good relationships with your colleagues. Here are four reasons you should not competing with your co-workers:

 

1. It’s bad for teamwork

Collaborative work would be less possible when each employee is competing against each other. Nobody wants to work with their rival, right? It could be worse when employees became tricky to put their co-workers down, at least in front of the supervisor/manager/boss.

FYI, no company will be successful if that’s happening in the office. The whole company could go down in the end.

 

2. It makes no synergy

Ideally, each employee can contribute with their own unique skill sets and ideas. When everyone can bring something amazing, it could lead to the company success. If you put that in mind, then less likely you will see your colleagues as rivals.

Just remember, when you and all of your colleagues are on the same page, the company have a higher chance to beat its giant business competitors. There is no need to beat one another when you all are on the same mission.

 

3. It affects the company culture to be worse

When negative feelings compiled, your office will become a negative work environment. You and your colleagues are being envious, dishonest, and bitter. Really, who wants to work in an office filled with negativity?

Also, have you ever heard that the five people you often meet that will influence your behaviours? If negative people surround you, you are most likely to follow their lead.

 

4. You could get fired

Competing with someone sometimes leads you to do things you shouldn’t have done. You will probably regret it for the rest of your life, especially when it costs you a job! When you always see your colleagues as rivals, nobody in the office will like you. It’s natural for the boss to fire you in the end for the things that you shouldn’t have done. Don’t be that person.

Other than those reasons, you can devise a new way to boost your motivation at work. Rather than a competitor, find a mentor instead. A mentor is simply the right source of motivation to guide you to a more promising career.

Why Your Company Should Have a Healthy Work Environment

Do you ever consider healthy work environment before you accept a job? Most likely, no. Most people choose a job because of the salary, offered position, or the company’s reputation. But, even those three things won’t matter when you don’t have health.

Interestingly, the World Health Organisation (WHO) study cites living and working in an unhealthy environment causes around 13 million deaths globally each year! Still, you may not think healthy work environment as an important thing in the first place.

Here are a few reasons on why your company (or the company you are working for) should have healthy work environment:

1. Positivity

A healthy work environment will always lead to positive experience in the end. It started with the comfortable feeling when you are working in the office. Moreover, it encourages you to build good relationships with your bosses and colleagues, because a healthy work environment also means a good organisation culture.

Each day, you will be more satisfied and productive, since your motivation and happiness raised because of the healthy work environment.

2. Attractive for future employees

Great talents understand the importance of healthy work environment. This is why when a company have a healthy work environment, more and more talented people lining up. Those talents just want to work for them.

Sure thing, you heard about some of the world’s biggest companies which offer perks and benefits to make sure their employees are healthy, such as nutritional lunch or comfortable/green offices. Who doesn’t want to work for them, too?

3. Employee retention

Any company who has a healthy work environment will be easier to retain its employees. While other workplace’s pressures continue to mount as well as productivity demands, the company who care about a healthy work environment concerns on employee’s health, human well-being, and job satisfaction.

Indeed, the lower job stress level means lower absenteeism as well. This could lead to bigger problems, such as diminished productivity, employee turnover, and direct medical, legal, and insurance fees.

Thus, every company should realise the importance to create a healthy and stress-free environment to work in!

 

Do your company have a healthy work environment? Write your review on Jobiness, here.

How to Turn Your Boredom to Productive at Work

Some people are bored with their job. Working hours feel like forever for them. Maybe, your current job isn’t exactly doing it for you at the moment, but it could be changed in the future. Say, when you get a promotion, new coworker, or busy season.

However, we understand that time is a priceless resource. When you are bored, do not turn your working hours to be a waste of time! Instead, take as many advantage as possible. While things are a bit slow in the office, you can always do something else.

Those “something else” can eventually turn out to be gold. You may have a higher chance to get a promotion or better salary. Here are a few valuable things to diminish your boredom at work you should try right away:

1. Learn a new skill you are interested in

There must be one or two subjects that are interesting to you. Probably, you only imagine one day you could possess those skills. Well, of course you can. The only problem you are facing is time. And now, you have some time during slow season in the office. It is time to learn now!

Fortunately, learning is easier than ever with the latest technology. You can listen to educational podcasts while you work, join online class, attend a webinar, get an online certificate, and so on. Look around on sites and resources to learn a new skill.

If you are an expert, consider some time to teach your expertise. Share your knowledge on online courses and workshops in your areas of expertise. It would develop yourself in the field you are mastered. Also, “teaching” could be your new skill!

2. Research the latest industry trends

There are always new things happening in your industry, and make sure you don’t miss a thing. Spend your slow time to browse relevant news, reports, articles, and researches. This is more important than you think.

First, you will be able to show off your knowledge in conversations with your colleagues and managers. Secondly, the latest trends often trigger new ideas and innovation for your company. Your little research can make a big impact in the office!

3. Initiate a networking group

You may have been in the same industry for a few years now. You must have some friends and acquaintances in the field. So, why don’t you create a networking group with them. They are most likely able to help you to let the possibly online group to have growing members.

A networking group is good for people in the same industry to get together, get to know each other, and have some discussions. There is no harm in creating one, especially it is only a Facebook group. Most people are interested in informal networking group.

4. Organise your desk/room in the office

Clean your messy desk, or decorate your working room. When you have plenty of space to work, it may affects your focus to work. Organise everything in your workspace, so you will be more efficient next time.

Is There Any Workplace Bullying in Your Office?

Everyone avoids (or blindsided) workplace bullying around them. You may be the bully, you may be the one being bullied, or you see one of your colleagues being bullied by your boss. Either way, it is most likely to affect you as an employee. Well, is there any workplace bullying in your office?

Workplace bullying often is a pattern of actions over a long period of time. You can’t really be a hero, and change it in a day. This is also why workplace bullying so often goes undetected in the workplace, since it is usually subtle, slow, and an insidious mistreatment.

Because it often goes under the radar, most people don’t want to have to deal with the bullies. We are forced to ‘tolerate’ them, even though they are scary and it could be embarrassing. Now, it is probably the right time to learn whether there is bullying in your workplace, before you can do something to stop it.

Here are 10 subtle signs of bullying, that you are more likely missed out:

  • Ignoring

Purposefully “forgetting” someone, such as not inviting him/her to a meeting, and not paying attention to them for long period of time.

  • Isolation

A bit heavier than “ignoring”. The bully is making someone to feel socially or physically excluded from a group.

  • Deceit

Repeatedly lying, not telling the truth, concealing the truth, in order to get a colleague in trouble.

  • Undermining work

Deliberate blocking someone’s work, achievement, or advancement.

  • Impossible expectations

Giving nearly impossible workload for an employee, with the purpose to set up him/her to fail. Constantly changing someone’s work guideline is also considered as bullying.

  • Creating a feeling of uselessness

Intentionally making someone feel underused by rarely delegating tasks or communicating with the employee. Also, giving an employee his/her unfavourable tasks and responsibilities.

  • Criticism

Putting someone as an object of criticism, usually for unwarranted reasons.

  • Intimidation

Any fear-inducing communication and behaviour to another employee.

  • Blaming constantly

Blaming others for problems or issues, which eventually making someone is the problem, inadequate and unworthy.

  • Excessive compliments and flattery

While it doesn’t sounds like bullying, it is when conducted to lower an employee’s defenses to manipulation.

 

Apart from those subtle signs, there vivid examples of workplace bullying that you may often notice, such as aggression and public embarrassment. Observe your office now! Workplace bullying needs to stop as soon as possible.

fathers day work tips

Fathers come in different types, shapes and sizes, but all of them have one thing in common. Each of them has invaluable advice to share, learned in life through their own footsteps.

With 40 years of experience in the workforce, my father is the best adviser whom I can turn to, for guidance on how to survive in the workplace. Experience is priceless, and this is something which can be earned only with sweat and time. I am grateful that my father had so willingly imparted such invaluable advice to me, based on his years in the workplace.  Since Father’s Day is around the corner, I’ll like to show my appreciation through words, by sharing the 10 tips which he taught me, which I adhere closely to:

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1)      Be helpful and get along with your colleagues

Colleagues are more than lunch khakis. It is important to bond and get along with them, because having helpful colleagues will certainly facilitate getting things done in the workplace, especially when you need to retrieve information or data from them. Thus, thoughtful gestures such as helping a colleague to carry some of her heavy stacks of meeting materials can go a long way.

2)      Don’t reveal your dislike

Even if you hate your colleague and know that he has stabbed you in the back countless times, do not have it written all over your face. Honesty is not always the best policy. Making a friend is better than making an enemy. Hence, there is no need to empty your cards and reveal all that you know to confront the colleague since the backstabbing has already been done. Open confrontation will not benefit you in any way and it will serve only to ensure an awkward working relationship with the colleague which you might continue to work with, in many years to come. Thus, be aware that he is not someone whom you can trust, but there is no need to tell him or anyone that. Continue to lunch with the colleague as usual.

3)      Be firm and confident

Be firm in what you stand up for. Displaying confidence in your proposal during a presentation will not only make a difference in the outcome of whether the bosses agree to a proposal, but also how they perceive you as an employee. Confidence is half the battle won.

4)      Don’t admit to a mistake if it’s not done by you

Don’t succumb to pressure and apologise or take up responsibility for a mistake which was not committed by you. We are paid to work, not to be scapegoats for other people’s mistakes.

 5)      Pay no heed to gossip or rumours

Every now and then, there will certainly be some office gossip which makes the rounds to your ears. It does not hurt to listen, but take everything with a pinch of salt and do not let the office rumours influence your decision or the way you work in any way.

6)      Be nice to your subordinates

The foot which you step on today may belong to the ass which you kiss tomorrow. While it may not lead to such a dramatic twist in the workplace, but it certainly helps to be nice to your subordinates or support staff. They will be more willing to go the extra mile for you, especially when you need to rush to meet deadlines.

7)      Follow instructions

Do as you are told. Instructions from your boss should be acceded to, even if you think you can do the tasks in a different and better way. Following instructions reflect respect to your boss, and you can do the tasks your way if you become the boss in future.

8)      Manage your time well and prioritise your tasks

Since work will always be streaming in, do not procrastinate your tasks and prioritise them accordingly. Just like Animal Farm, where “all animals are equal, but some are more equal than others”, all tasks are urgent, but some are more urgent than others. Learn to categorise your tasks and prioritise them according to their deadlines and importance.

9)      Trust no one (in the workplace)

A secret is no longer a secret in the workplace if you tell someone about it. If there is a secret which you do not want anyone in the office to know, keep it that way and do not tell anyone, not even your most trusted aide in office. Walls have ears and relationships can mutate. Your most trusted aide in office today may not be so tomorrow.

10)   Leave the office on time

There is no end to work. Hence, when it is the time to knock off, do so because there are other important matters to attend to, like family. After all, the company can hire another competent employee but the family will not be able to hire another competent daddy.

 

 

 

 

These are tips which are applicable in every workplace. My personal favourite advice from my father is point 10, because not only does it serve as a reminder that while we should work hard as responsible employees, we should also remember to spend time with our families, it also warms my heart that my father remembers to make time for us.