Where you spend your time has a direct influence on how you feel. Many of us spend a significant portion of our waking hours at work. When the workplace is unkind, hostile, or even just boring, it takes away from the joy that we can have in our lives. While there is a lot about company culture that we cannot control as an individual, there is something that we can all do to improve the environment around us at work. That one thing is to show kindness. Read on for some ideas on how to show kindness at work.
Leave A “Good Job” Post-It
Post-it notes are plentiful at work; you can put them to great use by leaving kind messages for your colleagues. Simply write something like “great job in the meeting today” or “thanks for cleaning up that spill in the kitchen” and leave the note on their monitor or keyboard.
Bring Someone Coffee
Everybody loves a warm beverage. What people love even more is a free and unexpected warm beverage. If you’re taking time to get coffee, pause for a moment, and grab a coffee or tea for someone else. Even the act of merely offering to pick it up shows a level of kindness that most people are unaccustomed to in the workplace. You might also find that folks don’t want you to get the coffee, but they feel so much better just because you offered.
As you walk through the halls of your office, make eye contact, and say hello to everyone you see. Recognizing and acknowledging people’s existence should come commonplace, yet it does not happen as often as most of us would like. Simply showing, “I see you” will help to brighten someone’s day.
Give An Office Care Package
If you have a colleague who has been down in the dumps or not feeling well, create an office care package for them. This does not need to be complicated. A few great ideas to include in an office care package are a mug with a funny saying, Post-it notes or sticky notes with cute sayings, colorful pens, pretty stickers, tissues, Chapstick, hand lotion, gum or hard candy, and a sweet note.
Email Someone’s Boss
When you see a job well done, don’t just let the person know also let their boss know. If someone did a great job in a meeting, on a presentation, or with a report, let them know and also tell their boss. A great way to do this is to send an email to the person and CC their boss or vice versa.
Help Clean Up A Conference Room
Kindness through service is always well received. Rather than rushing out of the next meeting, take some time to help whoever organized it clean up the conference room. If no one’s cleaning up the conference room and you see that folks are just rushing out pause for a moment and clean up what you can. Others will take notice and appreciate the kindness that you’re showing to the work environment you’re in. Hopefully, this type of behavior can become contagious, and you’ll find all of your coworkers pitching in to help each other and improve your work environment.
Leave The Conference Room On Time
In today’s world, meeting space is at a premium in most offices. Be kind to your colleagues by leaving meeting rooms on time. When your meeting runs over, you force someone else to start late, which is very unkind.
Swap Vents With Gratitude
This is one of my favorite tips. Rather than stand around the water cooler and vent about everything that sucks at work, take a moment to talk about the great things at work. When you swap your vents with gratitude, you uplift the energy of everyone around you.
Treat A Frustrated Colleague
If you see that someone is having a lousy day, offer them a special treat. It could be a fancy coffee, a cookie, or even just some candy. I like to keep single servings of sour patch kids and Swedish fish in my desk for this exact reason. When someone’s having a bad day, I leave a note on their desk along with a piece of candy. They may or may not like the candy, but the gesture is usually enough to help them feel better.
If you’ve been holding a grudge at work, let it go. Forgive the person and move on. Holding that grudge takes away from your joy and contributes to negative energy hanging around the office. Forgive them and move on.
Bonus, Say Thank You
Your bonus is something that, as adults, we tend to forget to say thank you. We teach our kids to say thank you, yet we often forget to utilize these magic words ourselves, especially in the workplace. As people do things for you at work, be it small or large, remember to say thank you to them out loud.
There you have 10 ways to show kindness in the workplace. Pick one and try it today. While you can’t control everything going on in your office, you can control your actions. Your actions do contribute to the overall environment, and by showing kindness, you are making a better work environment.
For more great tips for working moms check out, 5 Time Blocking Tips For Working Moms.
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