How Pessimism Can Affect The Workplace

workplace pessimism

Pessimism is defined as a belief that the bad in the world overwhelms the good. The pessimist lacks both confidence and hope for themselves and for others. This type of mindset in your small company negatively affects management and other workers. The results of allowing pessimistic attitudes to prevail can cost your business clients and profits.

Low Energy

A result of pessimism is low energy. The employee does not believe it is possible to achieve a great deal, so they do not get excited about their work. According to TMS Global, a negative cycle ensues in which the person tells themselves nothing will go right, which makes him less likely to make an effort, leading to even more negative self-speech and less-positive results.

When energy is low among one or more staff members, it is difficult to get projects completed.

Managers must focus on counteracting pessimistic beliefs in order to get workers motivated and engaged. One way to do this is to offer challenging projects with bonuses attached.


Pessimism by some employees can frustrate other staff members. It is hard to maintain a good attitude, work hard and enjoy your work environment when others speak and act in a depressed manner.

Managers should identify when others become annoyed and even angry due to the frustration of working with fellow employees who express cynicism.

Counteract the dim moods with employee “pep” meetings in which you highlight the positive aspects occurring in your business and praise those working hard while encouraging others to develop an optimistic attitude. This will help ease the frustration that happens in a pessimistic environment.


One of the worst things about pessimism in the workplace is that it spreads. One negative-minded employee can cause others to quickly follow suit. When someone constantly speaks in a defeatist manner, other employees can begin to speak in the same manner. Ever heard the expression misery loves company? Well, it’s true.

Similarly, when a single worker behaves in a pessimistic way, such as only putting in the minimum effort on work tasks, this behavior can become contagious so that the entire production level of the company suffers. Management must step in to counteract this problem before it escalates. Conference with pessimistic workers to point out their issues and help them work through these so they can develop more positive mindsets.

workplace morale


Indifference can invade a workplace under the influence of pessimistic views. When employees are indifferent, they will not work to the best of their abilities. The belief that nothing goes right makes workers not care whether they finish work tasks in a timely manner or if the company makes its sales goals for the month. Talk with these employees to find out if there is something the company is doing to cause pessimism.

If you can identify the problem, you can work on a solution that will change the culture of your workplace to get rid of the problem. This could involve setting higher standards, empowering employees to motivate them and modeling the positive effects of optimism so others learn from you and will want to imitate your success.

Think about it: Where do most people spend most of their time? Teaching people how to think positively in these times of so much negativity hitting us from all directions, can make a big difference not only in personal lives but also start chipping away at the purveyors of anxiety and unwarranted pessimism. Indeed, the world is how we choose to see it.


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