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The Fear Is My Homeboy® Blog

How to Create Positive and Productive Vibes at Work

February 19, 2018


If you really think about how much time you spend at work, with people you work with, and doing things related to work … you should be taking very seriously how positive and productive it really is.

Some data to get you thinking:

  • 1.  According to an article in Modern Medicine, a study based on the Multiple Risk Factor Intervention Trial, showed workers who skipped their annual vacation were more likely to die from coronary heart disease than were couch potatoes or smokers who do get away for a little annual rest and relaxation.
  • 2.  A 2014 study from the Harvard Business Review found that employees who were allowed to work from home were happier, less likely to quit, and more productive over all.
  • 3.  Although some 70 percent of all American offices have open floor plans, a significant body of research shows that bullpen-style spaces negatively affect employee productivity.
  • 4.  A 2011 article in the Harvard Business Review concluded that “employees in open-plan spaces, knowing that they may be overheard or interrupted, have shorter and more-superficial discussions than they otherwise would.”
  • 5.  In a report by Nicole Maestas, co-author of the study and associate professor of health care policy at Harvard Medical School, a supportive boss can cut the amount of hostile interactions in the workplace in half.

You have never been busier.

You are now doing more with less and you are spending more time “at work” than ever before.

Especially considering how the smart phone in your pocket now allows you to be connected to work 24-7, 365.

Yes, working is a part of life. Dealing with negativity is a part of life. Feeling unproductive is a part of life.

But it doesn’t have to derail you, destroy your health, or cause you illness.

The good news is that you have control over how you manage your team, your work days, and your work environment.

The question is … what can you do immediately to start taking action and turn a negative / non-productive environment into a healthy one?

Here are some ideas:

Team Outings.

Make it a point to get “off-site” and create opportunities to bond with your team. Taking a little time to plan for this on the front end will be SO rewarding! So, get out of the office, hire a speaker, play games, do quarterly team meetings, plan an annual “retreat. Do something on the regular that is NOT about work!

One of my favorite managers ever did this quarterly. We would play board games in our sales meetings, go off site for an annual retreat, take “field trips” and just bond as a team.

Her investment in us as human beings paid off big time.

Not only were we the highest producing sales team in the history of that hotel, she had a 95% employee retention rate for her entire time as VP of Sales.

Allow people flexibility.

Sticking people in cubes under florescent lights all day every day is the easiest way to kill creativity, burn people out, and de-motivate your team. Plus, data is showing that these days an employee would rather have the ability to work from home 1-2 days a week than collect an incentive check!

Work/Life balance is not real. It’s about balance. Period.

Because the second you turn up the volume at work, things fall out of balance personally. And the second you spend more time at home or take a vacation, things fall off balance at work. So, your goal each week should be to spend time finding balance by getting very clear about the tradeoffs for everything you say yes, and no, too.

At the end of the day you are a human being. Not a human doing. You need space. Room to breathe. Time to be in nature. And you want to be trusted.

Therefore, when you trust your team enough to build in some flexibility they will instantly feel trusted … which makes them feel valued …. which makes them love their job … which makes them work harder … which increases sales … and reduces turnover.

So, maybe you rethink that “incentive” plan and instead of offering only cash rewards you build in work from home days, a private office space, and some flexibility in their work schedule.


Does your team feel like they are noticed, seen, and appreciated? And do you realize that everyone on your team has a different “appreciation language”?

There’s a great book called “The 5 Languages of Appreciation in the Workplace” by Gary Chapman. Yes, this is the same author who penned the very famous relationship book called “The 5 Love Languages”… yet this book is all about how to love on your team.

It’s important to remember that not everyone feels appreciation, or wants appreciation, the same way.

This book should be mandatory reading for any leader and for every team. Once you realize how your team likes to be appreciated you can start to create an environment that becomes instantly motivating and positive which will in turn give you more ROI as a leader and less turnover.


I believe one of the quickest ways to destroy not only relationships in general, but most certainly team culture is gossip. Especially if you’re a leader.

We need to know that if we come to you … it’s in the vault.

Brené Brown writes in her latest book Braving the Wilderness this on the Vault: “You don’t share information or experiences that are not yours to share. I need to know that my confidences are kept, and that you’re not sharing with me any information about other people that should be kept confidential.

Final thoughts …

At the end of the day … it’s up to you, as a leader, to find ways to cultivate an environment of positivity. It really does start from the top down.

Additionally, if you are working for someone who does not “get” it and you could use some help convincing … here are some ideas:

  • 1.  Find data and research to show your “boss” how making changes like the above will increase profits and lower turnover.
  • 2.  Make it about them. Your leadership has goals, and they too are measured by someone. So, how can these ideas make their life/job easier.
  • 3.  Raise your hand to lead the next team meeting and try one of these ideas out.
  • 4.  Don’t let one negative person on your team stop you from starting something new.
  • 5.  Find a few allies who also agree and build a case for why this matters to present to your leadership. Again, focus on the results.

Made with Love.

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