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8 Ways to Make a Difference in Your Office

Whether you work full time, part-time, freelance, or every once in a while, most of us spend hours a day in an office, while at the same time working collaboratively with others. You might have a great team of people who work alongside you. You might just have one boss. Or you might even be the boss. Regardless, there are plenty of ways to make a difference in your career, no matter what you do for work.

8 ways to give back, be positive, and make a difference at work

1. Be a good example to your peers.

You might not realize it, but pretty much everyone is watching each other at work. People are paying attention to the hours their peers are working, the work they are or aren't putting in, and how they act in the office.

It's important to always be a good example to the people around you, no matter how you vary in age or position status.

Being a good example includes watching what you say in front of others, showing up on time to meetings, and genuinely caring about the work you present. Another way to be a good example is by not contributing to drama or negative conversations about others.

2. Show your employees respect.

If you're a manager or owner of your company, you must treat your employees and subordinates with respect. Listen during conversations, try to meet your employees' needs, and invest in them. If your employees want to grow in their position, consider sending them to a training or conference. This helps show your employees that you appreciate their willingness to learn and that you want to provide them with the resources to do so.

3. Volunteer your time with your coworkers.

One great way to build rapport with your team is by volunteering together. Find resources online about ways to give back to your community by volunteering. You could also ask your employees or clients if they have a nonprofit they like to support. Consider volunteering once a month or quarter, and find time while on the clock so your employees don't have to make after-school or weekend arrangements.

4. Always be professional.

One thing that annoys and frustrates employers is when their employees are being careless and unprofessional at work. Even though people might like to be loud and have fun in their personal lives, toning it down while at work is very important. We recently posted a blog about everyday business etiquette, so you can find some tips about workplace professionalism there as well.

5. Take criticism and feedback, and use it for good.

Whether you're a graphic designer, accountant, nurse, or teacher, most people take their work seriously. Or they at least take pride in what they do. Even though this is a good thing, you have to be aware of criticism from time to time. Your boss might have some feedback that's hard to hear, or you might have a client that isn't impressed with what you created for them. Either way, listen to the feedback, come up with a strategy to incorporate it and don't let it get to you.

6. Offer additional help when you can.

Everyone likes a helper. From offering to help carry something into the office to offering to stay late to get a project done, offering help is another way to give back in your office. It shows that you care, and it also shows that you're invested in the company and its employees.

7. Be positive in your office.

It's quite hard not to get caught up in the drama that takes place at work. Most of us like to be in the know, which is how we can get involved in negative conversations and conflict. To steer clear, you should be the positive energy that surrounds everyone in your office. This includes saying hello to people when you see them, holding the door open for them, and keeping yourself out of those negative situations. Others might see your positive light and be inspired by it.

8. Inspire and provide wisdom to your employees.

If you're in a management role, you have a huge responsibility to guide the employees you manage. But you should also positively inspire them. Since you manage people, that probably means you have more experience than they do. During conversations, bring up past experiences in your career that will give them a new perspective or show them how to handle a situation. And let them ask you questions. Most employees like to learn from their experienced boss.

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