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10 Ways to Avoid Workplace Frustration

Updated on December 5, 2014

1. Remember Not Everyone Is Your Best Friend

Some people that you work with will become really good friends, other people you will barely be able to tolerate. Remember that you do not have to be best friends with your every single one of your colleagues, but you do have to be respectful and professional towards them. Treat everyone the same unless you are in a position of high authority, and even then, treating people equally often increases workplace satisfaction and employee productivity. Most importantly, remember that your boss is not your friend, and has to keep their authority over employees. You might find they are quite a nice person, but remember it is best to keep that relationship as a professional one. Avoid becoming Facebook friends with your boss and other senior colleagues.

2. You Don’t Know Everything

If you are struggling with a task, rather than get frustrated about it try asking for help to get you on the right track. This way you actually get something achieved that is in line with company expectations, rather than wasting time achieving very little, and possibly not doing what was expected. No one can know everything, even if you think it may not be worth asking about you will look sillier if you don’t ask and then have to redo the work. Asking for help when you are unsure about something is a guaranteed way to reduce workplace frustration and help you actually get more done.

3. Don't Let Technology Beat You

Many workplaces have multiple pieces of technology that may continually have issues. Printers that don’t work, computers that are constantly freezing, projectors that won’t communicate with the laptop; the list goes on. When technology breaks down, humans tend to follow and meltdown in anger and frustration! Find out what to do in these situations, whether it’s finding your on-site technology support person, or calling the technology support department; getting on top of these problems quickly when they occur can minimise everyone’s frustration.

Frustrations of Technology

Technology doesn't have to be frustrating - learn how to get it fixed fast!
Technology doesn't have to be frustrating - learn how to get it fixed fast! | Source

4. Set Your Own Personal Standards

One of the most frustrating things about any workplace, is working with people who don’t work as hard as you do. You can’t control what other people do, you are only responsible for your own actions. Set your own standards and stick to them, try not to worry too much about what others are doing. Spending too much time agonising how the office slacker got promoted over you isn't going to make your life any better. Work hard at being the best you can be, and your efforts will get noticed over time. If not, there may come a time to think about looking for a job with another employer.

5. Take Your Breaks

Taking your scheduled breaks is important for your overall well-being and for helping avoid workplace frustration. If you are working on a frustrating task , sometimes having a break away from the problem in front of you can help you to refocus. If you sit at a desk all day, getting up and moving around is particularly important, as the dangers of a sedentary lifestyle such as heart disease and diabetes are well documented.

A Quick Video on How to Handle Workplace Frustration

6. Leave Your Problems At Home

If you've had a fight with your partner, or your dog died, or your mother in law is staying with you; you need to cope with these at home, with your friends, or your family. Coming into work angry, upset or edgy is unprofessional, and will not reflect well upon you. Having ways to control negative emotions is helpful for you and will benefit your co-workers and clients. If you are dealing with major issues, if possible it may be best to try to arrange to have some time off. Otherwise try to put on a brave face and focus on your work when you are at work.

7. Avoid Workplace Politics

This relates back to point 1, not everyone is your best friend. In the workplace, not everyone is going to get along. Depending on the workplace, there is likely to be an element of gossip, manipulating, and power games. As tempting as it can be sometimes, try to rise above this and not get involved. If you don’t talk about other people, you are less likely to get spoken about in the office gossip. Rarely is office gossip of a positive nature. As soon it turns negative or nasty, walk away and keep out of it. Your conscience will be clearer and frustration levels will be much lower.

Avoid Office Gossip

Office gossip only adds to frustration!
Office gossip only adds to frustration! | Source

8. Everybody Has Bad Days

You have your bad days at work. Everything goes wrong, your boss is hassling you about something, you didn’t get your morning coffee and traffic on the way in was a nightmare. Imagine how you appear to behave to other people when you are having a bad day! Now try to think about how others might behave when they have a bad day. If someone seems to be particularly moody, agitated or being just plain rude towards you, consider whether they may just be having a bad day before you start reacting and possibly making the situation worse. Give it 24 hours, and see if there is a change in their behaviour. You never know they may even apologise to you for their behaviour. Just remember not to tolerate bearing the brunt of all your colleague’s bad behaviour for all of their bad days!

Avoid Workplace Frustration

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9. Today’s Problems Will Be Gone Tomorrow

When someone is really annoying you and not listening to what is said - be it colleague, customer or client- this can make you feel like you are ready to snap! You may find yourself in a situation where you are really choosing your words carefully so you don’t say something you’ll later regret. This tension is not good for your well-being, and a good way avoid this type of workplace frustration is to remember that this person you are interacting with will be gone tomorrow. They may be a really difficult customer, who refuses to listen, but the most important thing to do is not take it personally, stay professional and remember that this person won't remember who you are tomorrow, and chances are your probably won't remember dealing with them. Aim to simply get through the interaction without telling them what you really think of them, which might make you feel better for a minute, but may also help get you fired!

Have Something to Look Forward To

Having a delicious lunch to look forward to can brighten your day!
Having a delicious lunch to look forward to can brighten your day! | Source

10. Try To Remember The Big Picture

Some things at work are beyond your control, but there is a lot you can change to avoid workplace frustration. Try to avoid spending unnecessary time with colleagues you dislike, have a nice lunch that you enjoy each day – this gives you something to look forward to; make your work area – desk, office, sales van – your own in some way. If you have the opportunity to give feedback to your employer on what would make a better workplace put in some constructive suggestions. You go to work to earn money to pay the bills and with a bit of luck have some change to do the things you enjoy. Don’t get frustrated by trivial issues, and remember that work is an unavoidable part of life, why not make it a bit easier?


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