How to Cultivate a Productive Workplace Environment

The average Canadian spends 35-40 hours per week at work and if you don’t enjoy your job, it can make for a very, very long time. Sometimes the job is fine, but the actual workplace environment is the issue. If you find yourself in the latter predicament, here are some tips on how to improve things:

Communication

We can all get very busy during the work day, but it is important to stay in touch with your colleagues and clients. Failing to answer emails and instant messages can be misconstrued as a lack of respect or interest, and that reflects poorly on both you and the company. Either way, this needs to change as soon as possible.

Be Engaged

Meetings are no one’s idea of fun, but they can seem positively torturous—and a waste of everyone’s time—if all of the participants sit there silent and stone-faced. The monthly reports may not be what you want to talk about Friday afternoon at 4:00, but if you put in some effort, the meeting will not only be more productive, it will also be over sooner and you can get on with your weekend plans.

Include Some Time for Fun

Busy, busy, busy can be stressful, stressful, stressful and exhausting, exhausting, exhausting. The day always goes by faster if you can laugh once in a while. Enjoy a few jokes or some witty conversation during breaks and lunch. Set aside some time to celebrate birthdays, Christmas, and other fun occasions.

Take Advantage of Everyone’s Strengths

A diverse work team brings a lot of different abilities to the table. You can capitalize on that by knowing the areas where everyone excels. That way you can have the best person for each task, which helps to ensure speedy and successful completion of assignments and other deadlines.

Showing Respect to Your Co-Workers

Whether you are a construction worker or a bank president, it is important to show respect for your co-workers. An atmosphere in which everyone is treated fairly is one more conducive to harmony, productivity, and general happiness. Here are some ways that can help to ensure you treat co-workers with all due respect.

Avoid Gossip

It can be tempting to say things about other people at work, but these “facts” are sometimes just based on rumors. So not only are you talking behind someone’s back, you’re spread falsehoods about them. If you have an issue with someone else, talk to them directly. If that doesn’t work, try speaking to your supervisor.

Make Small Talk

Small talk can often seem like an annoying waste of time, but imagine sitting day after day with people that you never speak to. Engage people in subjects that interest them, such as their children, hobbies, etc. Show some imagination; don’t just talk about the weather. Also, try to remember the names of children, spouses, etc. That demonstrates that you are paying attention and care about what is being said to you.

Respond to Communication

We all get busy at work, but repeatedly ignoring e-mails and instant messages from co-workers is simply disrespectful. Take a few seconds to reply and say something like, “I’m busy at the moment, but will get back to this afternoon.” And then follow-up like you promised.

Don’t Be Late

It’s not always possible to be on time, but being repeatedly late suggests that you have a problem with time management. Being late for meetings time after time is disrespectful and a burden to your colleagues.

Don’t Jump to Conclusions

Just because someone has not finished something when they promised does not mean they don’t care about you as a co-worker. People sometimes get called into emergency meetings with clients or find themselves having to deal with other situations that demand their unexpected attention. Give them the benefit of the doubt.