An Attitude in the Workplace

Source: Pixabay

By: Marie Donlon

The adage “attitude is everything,” is true for life and even truer still in the workplace.

Working for eight-plus hours a day is enough to sour anyone’s mood, especially if you are surrounded by folks unhappy in their work. A combination of being away from loved ones and the stress of project deadlines, office politics and policy changes can be a recipe for disaster.

The disaster: The toll all of these ingredients take on your attitude about work can result in a cauldron of negativity that might hinder your movement in the company, and, not to mention, make your day-to-day existence an expletive–filled nightmare.

Working with others, we can sometimes take for granted how our complaining and whining can wear on them. Not only will all of the bellyaching be recognized by your superiors, its effect on those around you will also be noted.

Some things to consider:


With a bad attitude that is well-known among your superiors, it is safe to say that you will likely be overlooked for advances or opportunities that could lead to promotion in the company. If people don’t want to work with you or are afraid of exposing you to their customers, it is unlikely that you will go far there.


Even if you were part of a project or helped to accomplish some goal in between your complaints about working conditions or a customer, you might not get the recognition you deserve. If your negativity overshadows your accomplishments, it may be time to consider an attitude adjustment.


If you complain too much, you may find yourself sitting alone in the breakroom at work. Whether you are reeling from stuff at home or reacting to a difficult workplace, how you deal with it can make all the difference in the world. Without allies, you could miss out on valuable opportunities or even the experience of a pleasant working environment.

Lost Revenue for You Translates to Lost Opportunity for Them

If you are unable to conceal your misery from everyone around you, up to and including valuable customers, this could have a domino effect on almost everyone in the company. A poor attitude can result in lost customers, resulting in lost revenue, leading to the inevitability that you lose out on bonus opportunities based on the year’s numbers, or worse, you might lose your job altogether.


Bad attitudes are not only demonstrated in what you say, they can also be demonstrated by what you do. Making noises and faces, or dressing in sloppy attire may all be signals of a bad attitude.

Likewise, vulgarity, eye-rolling, whining, pouting, tattling on a coworker, pranking a coworker, starting or spreading rumors, belonging to a clique, withholding resources, throwing tantrums, walking or storming out of rooms are all examples of negative attitudes. It is not merely complaining about a situation.

So how do you address the problem head on? Here are some tips to consider about attitude in the workplace.

Job Security

First and foremost, remind yourself that no matter how bad things are, being fired for a bad attitude will only make them worse. So even if you are run down by troubles in the workplace or at home, keep your complaints to yourself. A negative attitude will be noticed quickly particularly for its impact on others.


It is safe to say that we aren’t robots capable of plastering an inauthentic expression on our faces for hours at a time, but if you smile more, particularly when talking with coworkers or superiors, you may very well infect them with your positive vibe (or creep them out).

Additionally, smiling is a stress reliever, so no matter what you are experiencing at work or on the home front, remember that a simple smile might alleviate some of that burden.


A positive attitude can help you and others around you complete daunting tasks in a timely manner thanks to a can-do sensibility. Working together in a team where a positive attitude dominates will help toward completing tasks, both large and small, quickly, making your job easier and potentially garnering the notice of higher ups.


Likewise, getting along with your coworkers will ease office tensions and pave the way toward potentially satisfying work relationships. Developing an easy comradery with your fellow employees not only makes work pleasant, it will also make the day go faster—both of which work toward improving negativity.


And never mind the impact a positive attitude will have on those around you, consider your own health for a second. Reflecting on the positive will lead to a less-stressful you. After all, stress impacts us in myriad ways from attitude to mental and physical health.


Many employers offer employee assistance hotlines as a tool to combat the overwhelming feelings that can manifest into negative attitudes. Whether it is at home or at work, talking to an anonymous person may help you address the issues impacting your attitude.

If your company doesn’t offer such a hotline, consider talking to someone in human resources or perhaps, consider speaking to a therapist.

But, whatever you do, try to keep your complaints out of earshot from anyone with a say in your future with the company.


Benefits Pro—10 Types of Bad Workplace Behavior

Bustle—11 Ways To Keep a Positive Attitude At Work , So You Don’t Have to Feel Miserable

Chron—Five Attitudes That Are Important in Workplaces

Chron—How Do Negative and Positive Attitudes Affect the Workplace?

Forbes—14 Bad Habits That Can Cost You Your Job

Tinypulse—How One Person’s Negative Attitude Affects the Whole Work Culture