Maintaining Positive Workplace Relationships in Stressful Environments

We humans are social creatures. We like to be around other people; we like to form groups and share our interests with people who like the same things we do. 

At work, we might be paired up and grouped together with people who have different opinions from us. We’ll continue to gravitate toward those who have similar views, but we need to get along with everyone in order for the team to be successful. 

Unfortunately, stressful events, like economic concerns, short staffing, high-demand projects, etc., can take a toll on our attitudes, despite our best efforts to keep a positive attitude. 

Having a bad day is human and it happens to all of us, but we need to try our best to maintain positive outlooks and relationships at work. 

Here are a few tips on how to keep your cool during heated times at work:


Always a key component of every relationship, good communication helps keep everyone on track and on the same page. Being open and honest, while maintaining compassion, will help your colleagues ride out the storm together. Be direct and clear about what you need or want from someone on your team and do your best to respond with clarity when something is asked of you. 

Show appreciation.

Very often, people in work environments begin to feel stressed and frustrated when they feel like they’re being taken for granted. It takes so little to say thank you! It can make a huge difference in someone’s day. Always say thank you to someone who has helped you out, made a contribution to a project, gone above and beyond to help the team; whether you do this personally and privately or in an email to the whole group is up to you.

Treat each other with respect.

This might be a difficult one at times, but it’s important to maintain a respectful relationship with your coworkers. Don’t gossip or spread false information about anyone; don’t talk badly about someone behind their back. Be mindful and respectful of each person you work with — you never know what’s going on at home in addition to the stress you might be under at work. 

Be supportive of others.

If you’re managing to hang in during a rocky time but you see someone else having some trouble or getting frustrated, offer to help. You might be able to take on some of their work, or you can provide words of encouragement. Even just a little reassurance that things will get better can help lift someone’s spirits. You don’t need to be a cheerleader, but do your best to be a helping hand and a listening ear for your coworkers. 

Try to remain positive.

It might sound very New Age-y, but sending positivity out into the world will bring it back to you. Being negative will bring down the others around you and can breed resentment, anger, frustration and other stressful, negative emotions that won’t help tough situations at all. Try to find the good in bad days and do your best to share those insights with others. 

The past few years have really underscored how much we can all help each other out, or bring each other down, by our actions and choices. Sticking together with your coworkers when things are tough can make your team even stronger, more committed to the team and can help improve productivity all around. You can do it! 

If it gets to the point that the only solution is to find something new, call Debbie’s Staffing. We have great companies looking to hire someone with your background and experience and we’d be happy to introduce you! Give Debbie’s Staffing a call and watch your outlook on the world get brighter.