There are things you can do and of course things you shouldn’t do at work. Have a look at our list and be prepared!
Don’t Be Afraid to Laugh at Work: Benefits of Humor in the Workplace
There’s a common misconception that work is a serious place that should remain that way at all times. While it’s true that there are times when being serious at work is an absolute must, there are also times when adding a little laughter and humor to the workplace can be very beneficial to the overall environment.
Feel Good Environment
The workplace is somewhere that everyone has to spend hours at. If the workplace is toxic, too stiff, or lacks a good atmosphere, getting work done and returning a daily basis can seem like a real challenge. In contrast, if a work environment is full of good laughs and a pleasant environment, the environment can transform into one that is both inspirational and enjoyable. It’s not that the workplace has to become a circus; a few good laughs a day can keep everyone motivated and fresh. Sadly, many people feel that allowing laughter in the workplace will make it unprofessional. Thankfully, the attitude that laughter is unprofessional is simply a common misconception; even laughter can be kept professional and appropriate. In short, a happy, inspirational environment can keep co-workers productive and in good moods.
Work can be stressful, and stress can lower productivity and creativity. Fortunately, stress can be relieved with a few good laughs. Medical research has shown that laughter releases endorphins and relieves stress. While it can be difficult to crack a good joke when you’re stressed out, doing so could leave you feeling less stressed out and ready to get back to work.
Laughter = Agreement
If your job is one that involves meeting or sales pitches, you may find that laughter is one of you best tools. Since laughter releases endorphins and puts people at ease, it can be an invaluable tool when it comes to breaking the ice, soothing tension, or having others agree with you or see your point. Laughter can also be a fantastic tool for sales pitches; how many times have you been able to say no to a hilarious sales pitch? While you still may receive some negatives for your sales pitches, chances are your audience will enjoy your presentation a ton more if it includes laughter.
There’s no reason to be afraid to laugh at work; let your funny bone out. Crack a few jokes, get your co-workers giggling, and crack your boss up. As long as it remains professional and considerate, laughter can be an invaluable tool for the workplace.
Christmas Gifts at Work
The holidays are a wonderful time to celebrate with friends and family, but many questions whether or not it is appropriate to carry the good times over to work. In many workplaces, holiday celebrations are planned and observed, while others shun any mention of Christmas for different reasons. When it comes to giving Christmas gifts at work, the answers are not always cut and dried.
In a time where political correctness is key in many workplaces, it may be inappropriate to bring a Christmas gift for an employer, cubicle mate or co-worker. The best way to gauge whether this is the case is to just get to know the attitudes of those higher up. If the supervisor of the unit or corporate CEO puts out a Christmas tree or schedules a big company holiday party, it is probably safe to assume that gifts will not be frowned upon. Should the supervisor or CEO ignore the coming holiday, or if it is in the handbook that holidays are not publicly celebrated at the company, then gifts should not be brought to work.
If you decide to give Christmas gifts at work, and it is an accepted practice, there are rules to follow. First, pay attention to the size of the office. If only a small number of people work there, then it is unacceptable to openly give gifts to only one or two individuals. Wait until after work if gifts are to be given to only a few individuals. Or, consider giving the entire office a gift by baking cookies or a cake, or providing lunch one day during the holiday season. Those who work in larger offices with multiple employees may find it easier to give gifts to one or two close friends or office mates who are friends or acquaintances, though baking a treat for the entire group is still a nice gesture.
Many times, the question of whether or not to give gifts to an office supervisor or “boss” arises, and this can also be a sticky situation. Handle the issue with care to maintain standing in the office. Consider how well the supervisor is known to the employees. If everyone is on a first-name basis, or if employees feel as though the supervisor is an acquaintance or someone they would speak to outside the office, then giving a gift may be appropriate. Keep the gift small if giving as an individual or ask several people to put money together and buy something larger from the group.
The joy of Christmas causes hundreds of radio stations around the country to play Christmas music all day, and people will exchange millions of gifts to remember the first gift of Christmas, the infant Jesus.
When a situation arises and the office manager’s attitude toward the holiday season is unknown, it is best not to make any assumptions. If in doubt, simply ask what the company policy toward gift giving is. Christmas celebrations at work can be a complicated situation and make up an area where a wrong step can cause great consequences in the office hierarchy. When all else fails, keep the holiday cheer to only close friends and family members outside the office, and enjoy the holiday at home.
Party at Work: Don’t Drink Too Much
One of the first lessons of drinking at a party that you learn the hard way, or hopefully the easy way, is that you shouldn’t drink too much, especially at an office party. An office party is a place where all your co-workers, bosses, and executives are. You don’t want to do anything that could compromise your relationship with these folks. It would be bad news for your career if you decided to get too drunk at an office party, whatever the occasion. There are a lot of people that haven’t really thought thoroughly about what to do at an office party, and they often regret the decision the next day.
The reasons that you should stay sober at an office party are varied. One of them is that you are mingling with people in other parts of the company that are not likely to see you at any other time. This is a great opportunity to meet people that you wouldn’t otherwise meet. Everyone is in a lateral setting. No one is in the hierarchical setting that they are usually in at work. People can really see each other eye-to-eye, no matter what their station is in the company. This is a great opportunity for you to move forward in the company. You can really move upward if you play your cards right at an office party. You won’t get stuck with a lower career demotion if you act up, but you could miss a lot of opportunities if you are falling over drunk silly.
You should drink a little bit to minimize your inhibitions, but you shouldn’t go much over that. You should be in a state of mind that is conducive to meeting new people, but you shouldn’t have so much that you reduce your ability to be yourself and function properly. One of the great tricks of office parties is to have just enough so that you’re tipsy. The next step is to talk to people that you wouldn’t normally talk to.
If you can avoid the pitfalls of drinking too much at an office party, you will have a better chance of moving up in the company. Establishing warm, personal relationships with people in the company will really put you in a better place to have advancement in the company. They will know who you are by name, and they will be likely to call you in on big business decisions.
Another reason you shouldn’t fall over drunk at office parties is because other bosses will think you’re a drunk at home. You don’t want people in the company to think you have a drinking problem. That would be a problem if all your co-workers started gossiping that you were a drunk and had drinking problems. That might not sit too well with bosses that heard you were an alcoholic. You would have to convince them that you weren’t before they promoted you. You wouldn’t want to have a false rumor affecting your work life.
How to Handle Moodiness
There are naturally going to be some days when you just don’t feel like going to work. Rainy days (or your Christmas party) are a good example. When it’s rainy outside, most people want nothing more than the chance to stay at home and relax with a movie or a good book. Unfortunately, most of us have to work on a daily basis and having to go to work on a rainy lazy day can make us feel positively moody. However, it doesn’t have to be that way. Here are some tips for how to handle moodiness when the day just won’t stop raining.
- Keep things in perspective. This is perhaps the most important tip to keep in mind when dealing with moodiness, whether it is occurring in yourself or in a coworker you have to interact with. No one is perfect, and we all have things that annoy us. If you find yourself more irritable or notice you or a coworker are getting upset during a rainy day at things that normally wouldn’t make you fly off the handle, then find a way to laugh at it.
The song “rain, rain go away” exists for a reason: people generally prefer sunny days. But remember that a rainy day won’t last forever, so simply keeping that in mind and trying to do your best despite the circumstances can go a long way toward helping improve your mood and the moods of others on rainy days.
- Take a break to get your emotions in check. This is not always possible depending on the job, but if you can find a moment to slip away and get yourself back together, take it. This might mean something as simple as getting up and walking around the office or delivering a file by the stairs instead of by taking the elevator. You might just walk to the restroom and give your face a rinse. Do whatever it takes to take a short time out and get your emotions back together. It might lead to your enjoying the rest of your day!
- Plan a relaxing evening when you’re done with work. Looking toward the future is always a good idea when you aren’t a fan of the present. This tip, like the previous ones, can be applied to yourself if you are having a rain induced moody day at work or if you notice your coworkers are. Simply think of all the things you’d like to do when you get home and you might find yourself in a better mood before you know it. Just about everyone has a hobby that they enjoy outside of work, so keep that in mind as you go throughout your day.
- Seek help if your moodiness just won’t go away. Finally, there is a difference between moodiness that comes on during rainy days and an actual medical problem that just won’t go away. If you have or suspect you or someone you know might have depression, don’t be afraid to seek actual help. There are a number of free and anonymous community resources to look into if depression is present.