What Is a Good Attitude at Work and 10 Ways To Improve Yours

By Indeed Editorial Team

Published 23 August 2021

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

Work plays an important role in people's lives. From meeting tight deadlines to the way you communicate with your co-workers, how you feel about your work can affect your performance and your overall happiness. If you want a successful work environment, consider what your attitude and that of your coworkers' is towards your work. In this article, we discuss why positivity is important in the workplace and how you can develop and maintain a more positive attitude at work.

Related: Important Soft Skills Employers in Hong Kong Look For

What is a good attitude at work?

A good work attitude is a positive opinion or feeling about your work environment. How you feel about your work can influence the way you behave and your success level at work. It can also increase your job satisfaction and personal commitment. A positive attitude is an excitement about the work, a positive outlook on new possibilities and a desire to try new things and contribute meaningfully to your field. A good attitude is something that each person can bring to the workplace, but managers and companies can also foster it on their teams by setting a good example.

Why is attitude important at work?

Attitude is important at work because it can impact the way you feel about yourself inside and outside of the office. You may not always enjoy the tasks you have to complete, but having a positive attitude can provide many benefits to your personal and professional life. It can even affect those around you positively.

Personal benefits

By having a positive attitude at work, you can benefit your personal life by:

  • Reducing stress: By changing your reaction to stressors at work and thinking positively instead, you can become more productive, thus eliminating further stress.

  • Improving decision-making: When you have a positive attitude, you become a better decision-maker. Armed with a positive outlook, you may consider more favourable outcomes instead of negative consequences previously based upon fear.

  • Producing more energy: Adopting a more positive outlook at work gives you more energy. In a positive frame of mind, you may not dread tasks and instead look forward to them.

  • Create a positive environment: When you implement a positive attitude anywhere, people around you may follow suit respond positively, creating a better environment.

Professional benefits

Additionally, a good attitude can affect your professional life by:

  • Improving customer relations: A positive attitude is foundational to quality customer service. Your positive attitude will make your customers feel good, promoting a long-lasting and successful relationship with them.

  • Showing leadership capabilities: Managers and leaders look to promote employees who can influence others positively. When you have a positive attitude, you open yourself up to new and exciting work opportunities.

  • Motivating others: Keeping a positive attitude at work inspires others to drop negative habits and respond to your positivity. It can also help you be patient and helpful to others.

  • Increasing productivity levels: Positivity may make you more willing to take on challenging but rewarding tasks and projects. Being less distracted by negative thoughts, you'll be able to get your work completed more efficiently.

Related: 18 Good Leadership Qualities for Career Success

What are the most important attitudes in the workplace?

The following attitudes about your workplace can be the most important indicators of a positive workplace:

Respect

Having a respectful attitude is one of the most important ways to exhibit a good attitude about work. Everyone deserves respect, including your co-workers, your managers, your clients and yourself. Treat everyone with respect and advocate for yourself when it is necessary. This attitude can help you build strong bonds with other people and improve your self-esteem. Both benefits are important parts of being a happy and fulfilled person, professionally and personally.

Enthusiasm

If you can exhibit enthusiasm for the work that you do and for other parts of your life outside of work, you can increase the positivity around you. People may respond to your enthusiasm for work with more enthusiasm, which can be a great motivator for the entire team. Showing excitement for new experiences can also open opportunities for you. If you can tackle new challenges with enthusiasm, you can be a valuable asset to any team.

Commitment

A committed attitude is a willingness to fulfil the duties of your position to the best of your ability and without complaint. This is an important attitude to have towards work, because you may experience obstacles and setbacks that make it hard to feel positive about your position. Commitment can help you through challenging times and show your employers that even when faced with obstacles, you invest time and hard work in your position.

innovation

You can bring an innovative attitude to your work by thinking outside the box. Innovation means you are always looking for new ways to do something that are faster or more efficient. It also means that you are not afraid to fail. Try to be excited by change and interested in improving your life and the lives of others. You can bring an innovative attitude to any aspect of your work, including new policies for HR or a new way to organise tasks that makes everyone's workload lighter.

Helpfulness

Helpfulness can endear you to your peers, managers and clients. You can use the relationships that you build to improve your own position at work. You can also use a helpful attitude to take advantage of new opportunities. If a co-worker needs help with a task you're unfamiliar with, or in an area you're interested in learning more about, you can help them and gain experience at the same time.

Related: Teamwork Skills: Definition and Examples

10 ways to develop and maintain a good work attitude

Here are ten ways that you can foster a positive environment for yourself and your peers:

1. Avoid gossip

Gossip can distract co-workers and impact morale negatively. Avoid gossip to protect yourself from harmful work environments and potential confrontations. Instead, focus on building strong, positive and mutually beneficial relationships with your peers.

Related: Interpersonal Skills: Definitions and Examples

2. Reduce complaints

Complaining is counterproductive, and it can add to your negative opinions of a situation. By focusing on the negative, you distract yourself from potential positives or solutions. Consider why you're complaining and try to reframe your situation into an opportunity or into a challenge that you can overcome.

3. Use a positive vocabulary

Replace negative words with positive words. This can improve your overall attitude and reframe your situation within your mind. Your words also affect your co-workers. By using positive words, you can reinforce positivity in your co-workers and maybe reassure them or relieve their stress.

4. Smile

Smiling can improve your mood and other people are also more likely to smile around you and change their attitudes based on your facial expression. Try smiling as a mood booster when you need help feeling positive.

5. Put others first

Try doing nice things for others in your office. Selfless acts of kindness can cause your colleagues to show appreciation, which makes you both feel good and more positive. You may also improve your mood just by feeling helpful.

6. Get enough rest

You're more likely to be in a good mood if you get enough sleep. People need sleep to maintain high levels of brain function. When you're well-rested, you have an easier time making decisions and processing information, all of which can improve your performance at work.

7. Take breaks

Taking breaks during the day will help you reduce potential stress and negativity while refreshing your mindset. Go for a short walk or do some light stretches. This can help keep you engaged with work for longer and may give you some new perspective on challenges you're facing at work.

8. Practice gratitude

Be mindful of all the things you're thankful for. Focusing on the good in both your work and personal spheres will make you react more patiently and positively to stressful situations. It's helpful to write a list of the things you are most thankful for on a daily or weekly basis.

9. Keep visual reminders

Visual reminders to stay positive can help you maintain a good outlook, even during stressful events at work. Tape small notes to your computer or around your workspace with positive affirmations to keep perspective throughout the day.

10. Interact with positive people

Positivity is contagious. Being around other people who share your outlook can help you maintain a positive mindset. They can also help you realise the benefits of specific situations that you may not have been able to see on your own.

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