The impact of negative energy in the workplace
Article by Anya Buchan
Most of us will know what it feels like to be full of positive energy; we’re motivated, enthusiastic and lively. We throw ourselves into things wholeheartedly because we feel confident and passionate about them. In times of heightened positivity, we tend to work productively, happily, and are, in general, satisfied with our endeavours. Arguably, there is no better feeling than when you’re ‘just having a good day’.
But what about those days when you wake up half an hour late, somehow burn your porridge, lose your shoe/keys/wallet/child, sit in traffic for over an hour and then get splashed by a passing car as it careers through a puddle?
Oh, that familiar feeling of negativity. Stress is a form of negative energy that’s an everyday, and sometimes crucial, part of our lives, helping to keep us alert and on top of the day’s tasks. It would be impossible to go our entire lives without encountering stress, but how we deal with it can shape our lives physically, personally and in a working environment.
When we remain in an on-going negative mind-set, we stay in a continuous state of stress, or distress, which can manifest itself in a number of physical ways, including head or stomach aches, high blood pressure, skin conditions and trouble sleeping. In some cases it could lead to more serious issues, such as anxiety and depression. These physical symptoms, and the energies that are tied to them, can then translate into emotional undertones at work.
Since office life often means working in close quarters, the transmission of energies is inevitable. In much the same way as an entire office can come down with the same cold, one person’s bad mood can infiltrate an entire team until everyone’s feeling low. What makes all the difference is when people are conscious of the energies they’re giving out, and take responsibility for them.
You might notice that around an office people like to take credit when something they did went well, but when something isn’t going right, it’s human instinct to act as though it’s out of our control and that we did everything we could, sometimes even trying to place the blame onto others. These situations are prime examples of when negative energy has a tendency to surface. It may sometimes be that you genuinely had no control, in which case, why are you worrying?
Criticism, blame, complaints and victimisation are negative traits that I’m sure we all fall prey to, but projecting your frustration onto somebody else is never going to solve a problem, especially when you win or lose as a team. Remember, you’re all working towards the same cause. Be grateful when you or a co-worker gets something right, and remember that inevitably things will sometimes go wrong.
At Footdown, one of our core values is “trying things, even if we mess up”. It’s a statement that I love, and continuously remember. As a team, we encourage effort of any sort, because it shows commitment, passion and intuition. If it comes to nothing then so be it, at least we know what doesn’t work and the company progresses nonetheless.
Negative thoughts and patterns can destroy a company’s productivity and performance culture. As easy as it is to say, and guaranteed to be much harder in practice, having a positive outlook is the only real way to stave off pangs of pessimism and keep office morale elevated. This article can help you get started.
High performing teams can only function as well as their weakest member. Imagine what you could achieve with a highly motivated, highly positive team sharing the same enthusiastic and constructive outlook.
To expand on this point further, and for tips and tricks for those in higher levels of management, please click here.