When you spend 8 hours a day and 5 days a week with the same people it’s easy to pick up on their annoying qualities and ignore the good ones. We’ve all noticed a colleague that talks too loudly, one who spends too long chatting and making coffee or one that always asks for favours but never offers them out. With this in mind, your mood can dip and you can lose your motivation to be nice and treat others kindly, but we’re how to show you how and why you should be kind at work.
Kindness is infectious
Anyone who has experienced a moment of true kindness, especially if you weren’t expecting it, knows what an impact it can have. Whether it’s a stranger offering help when you need it or a customer service worker going above and beyond to make your experience that little bit easier or better, having someone treat you kindly should make you want to give that same happy feeling to someone else.
If you treat someone kindly, chances are they will be touched and pay it forward to someone else, and on and on the chain of kind actions go, meaning your kind gesture could end up having a much bigger impact than you expected.
The good kind of gossip
Gossip can be rife in some jobs and it can cause hurt and arguments, especially if someone has said something particularly nasty about a colleague. If you can’t resist a chat at the water cooler, don’t be lured into saying bad things, and instead talk about your colleagues in a complimentary way. Instead of bonding with someone over how much you dislike Sarah from Accounting or Steve from HR, discuss people’s positive attributes and mention things they’ve done that have had a positive impact on the workplace, whether that’s bringing in treats on their birthday or helping someone with a project.
At a minimum you might change someone’s way of thinking about others, and if the person in question hears you’ve said something nice about them it will boost their confidence and encourage a good working relationship between you, making this one of the best reasons why you should be kind at work.
Make kindness a constant feature
Kindness can sometimes be misconstrued as buttering someone up, especially if the person being kind only does it when they want something from others. To make sure you don’t come across as disingenuous, make your kindness a constant feature. This doesn’t mean you need to be a pushover and have people think that you’ll tolerate anything, but just greeting people with a smile or a sincere ‘how are you’ every day will make a long-term impact on your own happiness and the happiness of others.
If you’re fun to be around and a source of positivity, others will pick up on this and may feel more positive as well and encourage them to be kind back.
The science behind the smile
If you need another reason why you should be kind at work, you can take pleasure in knowing that science supports the idea that consistent kindness can lead to a happier work environment. A month-long study was conducted in the Madrid office of Coca Cola in which employees filled out weekly happiness surveys including if they had experienced kind gestures, and some of the participants had been instructed to treat their colleagues kindly, such as bringing them a drink or just saying thanks.
By the end of the study, the level of prosocial behaviour was increased by ten times more than experienced by the control group in the office, those who had benefitted from kind acts went on to do kind acts for others, and they reported feeling a greater sense of autonomy in their job.
If you want to put your kindness into action and see what a difference you could make, check out our fantastic range of jobs here.