Be kind at work
To show kindness is one of the most powerful things you can do for someone.
This is as true in the workplace as it is at home. It’s a shame that we are sometimes conditioned to think of work as somewhere we go to shut down our emotions and humanity. This way of thinking can sometimes cause dangerous workplace cultures. Think of that classic phrase, ‘It’s not personal, it’s just business.’ Kindness shouldn’t be seen as being surplus to requirement, or as a weakness.
The simple reason why kindness is valuable is because it makes us happier! An analysis from researchers at Oxford University confirmed that the link between being kind and happiness is very real. Over 400 published papers were analysed and authors found a significant boost in happiness when colleagues practiced being kind in the workplace.
When employees and managers are happier, the whole workplace environment becomes a brighter place to exist in! We can eliminate that feeling of ‘Monday morning dread’ and instead help create a place of positivity and support.
So how can we exhibit kindness in the work place? Further research conducted by The Harvard Business Review states that these 3 simple acts of kindness are indicative of a happy, healthy work environment:
- Exhibiting warmth, being enthusiastic, friendly and kind,makes you more influential.
- Generosity and being a sharing, giving person, not only increases your productivity, it also helps your colleagues work more effectively.
- Niceness builds trust.
Another awesome side effect of kindness is that it may be good for your health!
Kindness creates changes in the brain that can assist in the promotion of serotonin. This can cause all kinds of good things to happen within the body and the mind. In PhD David Hamilton’s book, The 5 Side Effects of Kindness, it is stated that the effects of kindness are felt daily throughout our nervous systems and that when we are kind, our bodies are healthier. He goes on to state that practicing kindness is good for the heart, slows down the ageing process, improves relationships and can help in the battle against depression.
While we would all like to think that we are kind all of the time, there are instances where we may not recognise our own unkindness. Think of your tone of voice, and take a step back and look at each situation with perspective. Did your joke sound sarcastic? Did you raise your voice when you didn’t need to? In the grand scheme of things, does it matter that your employee was 15 minutes late?
Essentially it boils down to being mindful of your words and actions at work and thinking of how they affect others, it is simple self-awareness! Choosing kindness at work can and will help you grow those important professional relationships that will later become your healthy professional network!
Because let’s be real shall we? We would all rather share our desks with people who care about us, and who are kind to us, than someone who won’t crack a smile when we walk through the door.
Feature image courtesy of Unsplash
By Cerys Rogers
Business Development Officer
Cerys Rogers has over 10 years’ work experience in the Education and Recruitment sectors across the UK and Australia. She is currently a Business Development officer at UTS Careers, and has previously worked for some of Australia’s leading accounting and legal recruitment specialists. In her role at UTS, Cerys has a strong focus on engaging and networking with industry in order to create employment opportunities for UTS students.