How much of negativity do you see around when you sit on your desk? How much of those vibes hurt your development? How much it affects your moral and productivity? How much you start whining yourself? I am sure, answer to a lot of these questions are not known to you. A lot of us basically dont even notice or consider the whining around to be actual whining. For several reasons whining in office spaces have become the basic necessity and believe me you would certainly see moral and attitude troubles in places that are whiner-land.
So what and how does this whining affect us? I recently happened to visit a Travel agent, a small office clubbed with around 8-9 people who would help the clients book hotels, flights etc. I wanted to get my vacation planned with them and since the tour planner was running late I got a chance to sit in the crowded place. A few moments I noticed that that the girls around were talking, I could not avoid over-hearing but they were cribbing about phones, about customers behaviours, about bosses, about people.. during the same time they chose to have their working lunches and I noticed the whining increased in mercury levels.... there were arguments, complains and raised voices... huh.... Before I left the office I asked my planner on what was the issue with the girls working there, he said they have several and sometimes they just crib about everything..
I realised if your office space is a whining area.. where people choose to do nothing but complains.... you are soon de-moralizing your teams, building wrong attitudes in people and of course affecting your over all growth and productivity. Whiners spread there magic like fire and when they spread the negativity they dont care where they do it, how they do it and who it affects.
In today's era we all are burdened with a lot of work, deliveries, quality, customers and deals. Hence we all need that sympathy soul who can hear us out... most times whining is done to get away from responsibility or blame others for things not happening. A engineer can whine if he is consistently working hard on deliverables, if he see's not so good quality work coming to him, if he sees issues in the work place, if he notices any troublesome factor.. sometime he will wine if he see himself working more than others, if he thinks he is paid less, if he thinks other companies pay better and the list continues.... all these situations and talks happen in work desks, passages, smoke area and pantry rooms.
The Book Whining : 3 steps to stopping it before tears and tantrums gives a superb view of different types of whining that happens in a house, family. But it is not bad to link it to a workplace where the effects are much broader and affects bigger audience.
So how do we create the no-whining zone in workplace?
1. Make people accountable.. if they know how to take responsibility there will be lesser reasons to whine.
2. Make people responsible, if they know their responsibilities well there will be less reasons to whine
3. Suggest people they talk positive.. Unless they speak good things about even the worst possible elements there wont be those negative whining vibes.
4. Suggest people to have smiling than frown faces.
5. Put boards across office asking NO WHINING PLEASE
6. Create whining zones which are distanced than the work place and people can be noticed... it is important to let the whining not affect regulars or the motivated.
Last but not the least... whining is a problem.. try to fix the issue that matters... changing whiners is a difficult task.
Make your workplace a fun area not a whiners paradise