Consequences of Negative Attitude in the Workplace

by Crystal Vogt - Updated September 26, 2017
Remaining positive at work will help relations between you, your coworkers and management.

Sometimes you may have a bad day, when stress about family, bills, friends or other pressures may cause you to harbor a negative attitude. This is normal, but it's important to remember to not allow your negative attitude to surface in a professional environment. A bad attitude can not only affect your work performance and output, it can also affect your coworkers' work days and even, perhaps, how your boss views you.

Strained Relations

A foul attitude at work can put a damper on relations between you and your coworkers, who often -- depending on what your line of work is -- function as a team. If you have a continually negative attitude, your coworkers may see you as a pessimistic team member and, in turn, may not want to work with you. If your place of work has a more social atmosphere, your coworkers may also leave you out of social get-togethers they hold outside of work. Also, your coworkers may report to management that they find it hard to work with you professionally because of your negative attitude.


A negative attitude may prompt management to get involved, especially if management sees that work output, work ethic or interpersonal relations between work teams are strained because of a sour temperament. Your manager may take you aside and warn you that your attitude is not conducive to a team environment and that it's affecting production. If he has to take you aside more than once about your attitude, he may then have to leave an official note on your permanent work file about your behavior.

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Firing/Lay Off

If your negative attitude persists even after your manager's warnings, you may be fired if she deems you detrimental to the work cycle. If firing is out of the question, then you might be one of the first to to be laid off if your company ever conducts lay offs, as the permanent marks on your work file would serve as a red flag to your capability as an employee.

Bad Recommendation

Whether you choose to leave your place of work on your own accord or whether you are fired or laid off, if you've harbored a negative attitude that's become apparent to coworkers and management, you may have a hard time finding a good candidate to recommend you for your next job. Bad recommendations can impact what type of job you get next, and future potential employers may reassess your contribution to their business if they hear about your negative attitude.

About the Author

Crystal Vogt has been an editor and freelance writer since 2005 and has had her work mentioned on MediaBistro, Yahoo! Finance and MSN Money, among other outlets. She received her M.S. in journalism from Boston University and holds a B.A. in English from UC Santa Barbara.

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