If you’ve ever worked in an unhappy office you’ll know what a downer it can be.
In my work I have often spoken about organisational responsibility for a healthy workplace culture, but though some well-intentioned individuals are committed to it, most organisations do very little about actively fostering a positive culture. They do even less about stamping out negativity by nipping unhealthy behaviours in the bud and demonstrating leadership by modelling the behaviour they claim that they expect.
It’s not that they’re not well-intentioned, most are. But it’s another matter to turn round an ailing and pessimistic culture, especially with all the contemporary pressures that there are in many organisations these days.
It needn’t be so difficult. We are all aware of physical hygiene and the advisability of cutting down the spread of infection through simple measures like hand washing, catching coughs and sneezes in a handkerchief, and staying away from others when we are infectious.
We should discourage toxic behaviour at work (or in any group we are part of, for that matter), in the same way, so that it can’t spread.