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Easing the atmosphere at work


When tensions are running high at the office, there are certain things you can do to lighten the mood. A quality of work/life consultant offers some tips.

According to Madeleine Fortier of Accent Carrière, your attitude at work can really affect the people around you. By adopting certain simple habits, you make going to work more enjoyable.

1. Interact with your co-workers
When you come into the office, be sure to say hi to people on your way in. Ask them what’s new and make sure you listen to what they have to say. If you express interest in others, they’ll express interest in you. Building friendly relationships with your colleagues will help create a pleasant work environment.

2. If something is bothering you, say it tactfully
Tensions rise as communication breaks down, points out Ms. Fortier. Don’t let dissatisfaction sour your relationships with your colleagues. “Miscommunication is often at the root of conflicts,” says Ms. Fortier. “When you’re having a tough time with a co-worker, try to talk it out and diffuse the problem.”

3. Include simple pleasures in your day
Treating yourself doesn’t have to be complicated. Decorate your work space or have lunch with a friend. You should also try to get the tasks you dislike out of the way quickly so that you can spend more time on the ones you like.

4. Brighten someone’s day
“Praise your colleagues for their achievements,” Ms. Fortier advises. “Everyone loves encouragement, so why not spread it around?” She also suggests you pay special attention to the people you work closely with. Thoughtful details like birthday cards or homemade cookies to share during your break can go a long way.

5. Use humour in your communications
“A sure way to lighten the mood is to crack jokes and have a laugh with your co-workers,” affirms Ms. Fortier. “Humour is also a great way to get your point across without ruffling anyone’s feathers.” For instance, if your secretary hands you a letter full of mistakes, tell her the privacy policy doesn’t require her to keep her eyes closed while typing.