When you blend different personalities, throw in tight deadlines, difficult clients, and passive-aggressive emails into the mix, what you have is your average workplace, complete with its own unique culture and challenges.
While some office issues are truly one-offs, there are others that are universal and we’ve all encountered them from time to time. Some get resolved after a day or two, others unfortunately escalate and that’s when morale and productivity nosedive.
Well, let’s take a good look at some common workplace challenges and how to be productive despite experiencing them.
When you’re not getting the praise you deserve:
You have pulled an all-nighter to finish a job, only to have your boss dismiss your hard work with a wave of the hand. Perhaps, your boss overlooks you. Maybe a colleague is taking the credit for all your ideas or you feel overshadowed by a loud coworker who sweeps up all the praise.
While in some instances unacknowledged effort are one-offs, feeling like your hard work constantly goes unnoticed can be a soul-destroying experience. The good news is all of these issues can be solved without throwing lukewarm coffee in your boss’ face.
Here’s how to fix it:
When you get defensive and start casting blame on others, it won’t reflect well on you. So, the best thing to do is get proactive and be your own cheerleader.
If you turn in work before a deadline or get good feedback from a client: speak up! You don’t have to make a big thing about it. Blow your own trumpet by sending an email to the group’s platform, keeping the tone casual. This way, you’re shining a spotlight on your own successes and making your boss’ job easier by letting them know you’re getting stuff done and you’re doing it well. Sometimes, personally celebrate your triumphs and feel good about yourself.
When you’ve made a mistake:
Butterflies in the stomach, clammy hands, sudden panic – we’ve all been there at some point. Small mistakes — like an accidental ‘reply all’ email or something more damaging that could cost your company it’s clients.
Here’s how to fix it:
First, you need to take responsibility, which shows your commitment to fixing the problem. Next, you need to sincerely apologize. But make it short, and accompany it with a solution.
When the raging fire seems to ebb, have a catch up meeting with your boss to explain why it happened, and what you’re going to do to make sure it won’t be repeated. Then move on and be extra attentive next time.
When you feel burnt out:
This is one of the most complained about conditions in the work place. Burnout has officially been recognized by the WHO as an ‘occupational hazard’. It’s a combination of exhaustion, prolonged negativity, and reduced efficiency and it creeps up on you, so the sooner you recognize it, the better.
Here’s how to fix it:
First, recognise the symptoms. Do not gnore them. See a doctor if it’s extreme then pick an appropriate time to let them know the impact of the work load on you and then explain how they can help you.
It could be that your workload has grown and you need some extra help or you want to hand over certain responsibilities or you just need to take a few days or weeks off for mental health reasons. It may feel difficult at first but just make an attempt. Don’t mask the problem.
When you’re bored at work:
Although this sounds unbelievable, it happens to career professionals especially when their responsibility becomes a routine. Watch out! When such boredom becomes an every-day occurrence, consider it a red flag. Maybe you’ve reached the top of your game and find your work no longer challenging or you dont have enough to do. Maybe you’re a bad fit and are in the wrong place and you feel disconnected.
Here’s to fix it:
Make an attempt to work out what’s causing your boredom. Seek solution then book a meeting with your boss to discuss it. Please never go to your boss unprepared, you might be out of the door before you know it.
Ask yourself, is there room for growth within your department? Any extra responsibility you can take on? Ensure you keep the tone of conversation positive rather than frustrated, and focus on what you can do, rather than what you don’t want to do. If it turns out there’s no room for progression or growth, you’ll leave the conversation with a better grasp of your situation and have clarity about your next line of action.
Summarily, channel your energy into things you can control, rather than wasting time stressing about the things you have no control over. Once you’ve learned this, you’ll be able to prioritize your tasks and focus on what you can do to overcome any challenge that rears it’s ugly head which is empowering feeling.