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Kindness At Work. Are You Up For The Challenge?

Rizwan Javaid
Rizwan Javaid
3 min read

It’s Monday morning.

Your day started by scanning the news on your phone. Racism, bigotry, and sexual harassment seem to be dominating the headlines these days.

Why can’t people be kind? You think to yourself.

On your commute to work, you notice people being inconsiderate, rude, and aggressive to each other.

Why can’t people be kind? You think to yourself.

You make it into the office relieved to be in somewhat of a good mood. You pass by a few people in the office, but no one says hi or even looks up to smile. On your way to the kitchen, you notice no one speaking to each other as they stand in the coffee line.

Why can’t people be kind? You think to yourself.

After seeing so much negativity, you decide to do something kind. You stop by the new employee’s desk and start up a conversation. Others in the office see you and also stop by to introduce themselves to the new employee which elevates everyone’s mood. Bravo! You have started a tiny positive ripple in the fabric of the universe. Now imagine everyone at the office doing similar acts of kindness however small.


The Kindness At Work Challenge

Recently, my kids started a kindness challenge at their school. The challenge included small acts of kindness to help kids focus on being good to others to help create a better learning environment at school. This is a great idea to which got me thinking, why not have a workplace kindness challenge? So here it is!

One more thing before you jump into this. When you are doing these acts, you shouldn’t expect anything in return. This is a big part of the challenge but the more you practice it the easier it will become. It may be tough in the beginning and you may struggle with it but keep an intention to perform these acts without receiving the spotlight. You got this!

Be Kind To Others

  • Write a thank-you note to a coworker. Let them know how much you appreciate them.
  • Smile at each person you pass by in the office. You can do this on your way to a meeting, to lunch, to get coffee.
  • Clean up a common area at your workplace.
  • Be there for your coworkers. Are they struggling with an issue outside of work? Be there to listen to them.
  • Compliment at least one person each day.
  • Give your coworkers a high-five for being awesome. Make it a trend at work.
  • Buy coffee for someone at work.
  • Ask “How can I help you?” Ask around if anyone, the intern, the front-desk assistant, your manager, or your team members need any help.
  • Re-engage with a coworker. Get to know someone at work you have not talked to in a while.
  • Introduce yourself to a new person at your company.

Be kind to yourself

  • Leave the office on time. Take the time off to recharge.
  • Focus on Positivity. As soon as you feel a negative emotion at work refocus your thoughts by performing any of the acts of kindness on this list.
  • Quit the junk food. Eat a healthy snack instead.
    Eat lunch with someone new. Take this opportunity to learn about what they are like outside of the workplace.
  • Take a 10-minute break to walk outside. Get some fresh air and clear your mind.

Why Be Kind At Work?

This might sound like obvious but it is a good reminder for us all. Being kind has benefits for both the giver and the receiver of the kind act. Some of the benefits are:

  • Feeling good about helping others
  • Inspiring others to act kindly
  • Helping create a prosocial environment at work
  • Reducing job-related stress
  • Positively affecting the culture at work
  • Improved health

These small acts of kindness will help bring humanity back to the workplace. By taking on this kindness challenge you are actively spreading positive vibes and doing your part to make your workplace fun and full of positive energy for everyone.

With deadlines looming over our heads, non-stop meetings, and the politics at work, it’s good to refocus on the positive aspects of our work life. Let’s be helpful and kind to our fellow workers. Let’s re-center ourselves and focus on making our workplaces supportive, friendly, and kind. Let’s enjoy the time we spend at work without the stress and anxiety so we can do our best work together.

Share your experience

What is the most memorable act of kindness towards you that you remember? What worked and what didn’t work? Share your experience with others in the comments below.

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