It can be tricky on days when you wake up and get out of bed feeling as though you only had about 10 minutes of sleep, only to have to get yourself suited up and booted out the door to your office.
It is even harder when you are self-employed because no one is standing over you shaking a stick to ensure that you hit the road running.
When you run your own business, you’re the person who has to give yourself a pep talk, and if you employ other people, then you are the positivity gauge by which everyone else measures themselves.
So how can you carry positivity with you into your workplace?
1. Make your physical space peaceful and inviting
Reduce clutter and you will reduce stress. Keep things neat and clean. Clean up after and around yourself; if you are seen to be the one that pitches in and washes the coffee mugs once a week or opens the windows to let in some fresh air, others will take your lead.
Get rid of the broken and the tatty things sitting around your office, and make sure you have a welcoming space in which to work. Invest in some good quality pictures or prints, if you have got a dead or dying pot plant then get rid of it and bring in something new (preferably one that looks good and is relatively hardy).
Think about the colour schemes you use around you – sunny colours will perk up everyone’s spirits whereas working in a Gothic nightmare of black and purple will have the opposite effect.
2. Dress to impress
The outfit you feel most comfortable in (e.g., sweatpants, battered trainers, get the picture?) is fine for lounging around the house, but it does not generate a feeling of positivity in others at your workplace. You can still be comfortable, but look carefully at your business attire.
Sticking to a tailored, professional approach gives people confidence that you know what you are doing. When they feel confident in you and you look good, they will follow your lead.
If you want to start a dress down Friday where staff can loosen up a little then go for it. Casual wear one day a week is not going to harm anyone and people will enjoy coming to work. While all of this does depend on your work environment and the industry that you’re in, feel free to be creative and come up with an idea that will suit your specific workplace.
3. Cultivate a community spirit
As much as you can, do away with the office politics or the gossip around the water cooler. Instead, create a more positive energy by doing something outside of work, such as fundraising for a good cause or giving up time for a neighborhood project.
Even if your co-workers do not want to get involved, you can encourage them to sponsor you and promote the good work and outcomes achieved, which then promotes positivity.
People feel good if they can do something for another person, particularly if it doesn’t take a lot of effort, for example, handing over sponsorship money. Or you might even want to sponsor an impoverished community overseas or a specific foundation or charity, one that will send regular updates and news that you can share with fellow co-workers.
4. Make time for the fun stuff
Walk into work with a smile on your face and it will be very hard for people to remain negative. If it is someone’s birthday or special anniversary, then decorate their desk with balloons or have an end of the week lunch.
Celebrate POETS day (Push Off Early iT’s Friday) by offering a flexible work schedule so that everyone takes turns to clock out early for the weekend. If the place you work at isn’t your own business then negotiate with the person in charge to see what flexible options you can put into place.
Giving yourself a break is also important so ensure that you make time for yourself to get out of the office. You have to make sure that you keep yourself both mentally and physically fit because otherwise you become drained, and keeping a positive attitude is going to become harder.
It is also harder to remain in a positive mood if it is your own business and you are a party of one, as that’s quite an isolating place to be. If that’s you, think about joining a business network or arrange a regular lunch date with friends – even chatting on Skype and bouncing ideas off other people will give you a different outlook.
At the very least, make it a point to speak with at least one other person outside of your workplace on a regular basis so when you need to, you can get back into work refreshed and ready to go.
5. Celebrate achievements
If someone does something, no matter how large or small, make sure you acknowledge it. We are not talking about blowing your own trumpet because nothing is more off-putting than someone who talks themselves up all the time.
This is more about sharing success with those who have helped to achieve it, and even a simple gesture like bringing in a bag of donuts for the rest of the team to share will be much appreciated.
The American writer Elbert Hubbard once said, “Positive anything is better than negative nothing.”
Whether you’re an entrepreneur stepping out on your own or an ambitious young professional looking to make your mark on the world, there will always be days when staying positive is just that little bit harder. On those days, think about how you can carry positivity into the workplace, starting with the little things.
This article has been edited and condensed.
Julie Pettett Numanoglu is the Managing Director of Brighton Panel Works in Melbourne, Australia, a company her father founded that specialises in the smash repair of prestige cars. Having literally grown up with the business, she understands all facets of it, from marketing to creditors and debtors, payroll, staff management and customer relations. As a female MD in a male dominated industry, she is not afraid to ask questions, implement training and seek advice, and to create a positive attitude among the employees so that they enjoy their roles and are able to produce the best quality work. Connect with @brightonpanelwk on Twitter.
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