June 23, 2015
At some point in your life you’ve likely worked in a sad office. In fact, you might be working in one now.
A sad office often resembles some degree of your worst childhood nightmare: a playground full of people behaving badly to one another—bullying, lying, backstabbing, blaming, and demonstrating all types of rudeness and unkindness.
Despite “grown-up” organizations boasting core values like integrity, teamwork, customer responsiveness, etc., many of these “values” are nonetheless gimmicky, shallow, or simply ignored while bad behavior runs rampant.
The sad office isn’t just bad for the soul. It’s bad for business. Authors Christine Pearson and Christine Porath in their book The Cost of Bad Behavior revealed that:
“The annual cost of job stress to US corporations is $300 billion, and over 60% of workers in US workplaces experience this kind of stress because of workplace incivility; 12% report actually leaving their jobs because of incivility.”
I developed The Work-Life Equation for the millions of workers who want to transition to a place that is more populated by characteristics associated with happiness and success. This transition depends on solutions arrived at using the following heuristic formula, which is dominated by six key behavioral factors:
(H, S) = f (4C, 2R)
Within this formula, Happiness (H) and Success (S) are a function (f) of six behavioral values: Cooperation, Consideration, Compassion, Courtesy, Respect, and Responsibility.
Although the values in the formula may seem obvious, no one can deny that many people dread going to work precisely because of a lack of the behavioral values above.
Solving the sad office doesn’t have to be overwhelming or insurmountable. I’m a big fan of the Pareto principle (or the 80-20 rule), which states that for many events, roughly 80% of the effects come from 20% of the causes. Try applying the Pareto principle to each of the behavioral values in The Work-Life Equation. In other words, you don’t have to be perfect—depending on the day, you may invest more or less in any of the given values.
Here are some tips to contribute to solving the sad office:
Solving the sad office starts with you and your own self-awareness. Any positive shift along the spectrum will help improve the behavioral interaction and ultimate success of the individual, team, or enterprise in areas that matter, setting the stage for a much happier environment.