Recently I’ve been dubbed the “Morale Officer” in my workplace. Despite my issues and sometimes very short fuse, most of my energy is directed at making people more self-aware through critical feedback and a positive growth mindset. I spend a lot of time preaching kindness to others and self (even though I internally struggle with the latter). While it’s a strange title to be given, it’s one I’ve taken rather seriously and wear as a badge of honour – despite being given the name flippantly.
For the next 7 weeks I have been moved out of the comfort of my private office as I am covering for a colleague, using both my laptop and hers as I juggle two people’s roles. It’s tiring, but it’s amusing. I enjoy the challenge, but it means that I am no longer near my wall of affirmations. I’ve been put out to a large office space where no two departments really intermingle and there seems to be a shady, not overly happy vibe in the office. I’m already missing the warm comfort of my team, the wall of positivity, and the serenity chair that everyone uses to decompress.
As it turns out, I currently don’t cope well in this open environment. I feed off the energy of those around me, and my short fuse grows shorter, it’s harder to keep my eye on the prize and not get distracted by everyone’s negativity. I can hear all the conversations happening around me, and I can hear the murmuring a unpleasantness in everyone’s tone. It’s a real buzz kill and not something I’m use to any more. After having initially fought to be kept in this open office, I’m glad I had moved to my own office, where positivity, critical feedback and open honesty reigns supreme.
Having grown accustomed to my little office with my upbeat and supportive team, I decided I wasn’t going to let the negativity of the open office get to me. Not this time. I’m very mindful of the fact I need to avoid mental and emotional exhaustion and not let the negativity get to me and I definitely don’t want to carry it back to my office when my stint out here is over. I decided if I couldn’t have my wall with me, I’d create a box. This box is for anyone having a bad day or bad moment.
Inside the box is a plethora of affirmations, positive messages, uplifting quotes and some seriously terrible dad jokes. My absolute favourite is the following:
The idea of the box is to take the onus off me. I am not required to be upbeat and the only thing vibing with good energy. I’ve transferred that energy in to the box. So far, it’s worked. People are curious about the box and people want to be a part of whatever is making people laugh on the other side of the office. Colleagues who were grimacing 5 minutes prior to approaching my desk are now walking away giggling or with a sly smile on their face as they fight the urge to groan at the dad joke. The mood is shifting, and it hasn’t cost me anything emotionally. If anything, them laughing at a joke or reading that they are amazing is helping me day-to-day.
If you’re struggling in your workplace and morale is low, maybe consider using an affirmation box. Call it whatever you want, make it however you want, but keep everything in that box positive, inclusive, safe for work, and fun. I’ve found over the last week it’s been a massive bonus in the daily lives of at least 2 colleagues and word has spread throughout the building about the affirmation box and people now come up to it every morning for a boost and again around 3pm as the afternoon blues kick in. It may take a while for people to get on board, but it only takes one or two people to make a massive change.
Keep your chins up, and until next time, stay silly xx