Taking a proactive approach to dealing with problems at work

If you dread going into work each day, it’s important to take a proactive approach to the problems you are facing- before things escalate and it becomes too late. Read on for our top five tips on dealing with a difficult boss or a hostile working environment, and find out what you can do to make your working days easier and more pleasant.

1. Communicate If your boss or another colleague is difficult to deal with, places unfair demands on you or speaks to you in a way that is inappropriate or unpleasant, they may not even be aware of it. Opening a line of frank and honest communication between yourself and your colleague can go a long way to clearing the air and encouraging them to look carefully at their behaviour or management style. Ask for a one-to-one meeting, write down your thoughts, and see if you can reach a resolution.

2. Don’t be afraid to ask for help If you’re struggling in the workplace or find you are increasingly being asked to take on more and more tasks, don’t be afraid to speak up. Does the day to day reality of your working role match up with your job description? If not, then it’s important to bring this to the attention of your direct supervisor or the human resourcing department in order to give them an opportunity to rectify matters.

3. Follow protocol If you find yourself unable to communicate with your direct boss, or they do not address the issues which you raise to your satisfaction, it’s ok to go up the chain of command and ask your boss’s superiors to step in and mediate. Follow company protocol and do things by the book to make sure that your issue is dealt with- and that you have some means of recourse if it is not.

4. Learn to switch off outside of work Being unhappy in your job can be very stressful, and it’s easy to allow work problems to take over your whole life. Keep yourself sane by making sure you have time for relaxation outside of work, and try to leave your work problems at the door when you get home.

5. Keep a record Hopefully, you’ll be able to resolve any short term difficulties or problems with your boss or working environment in-house, but even so, it’s important to keep a record of what goes on so that you can refer back to it in the future if needs be. Document any issues that arise, any formal or informal meetings related to the issue, and how things change- or do not change.