Ways to Make the Workplace More Kind and Caring

Ways to Make the Workplace More Kind and Caring

You matter. And so do others who work near you.  That is why it’s important to make the workplace more kind and caring.

Companies that foster a sincere approach to caring in the office will find a lasting payoff through employees looking out for each other’s best interests:

  • talent will stay engaged
  • workers will be more relaxed than tense in a pleasant atmosphere
  • you’ll create a shared experience to look back on fondly

It’s tough to bring genuine altruism into a competitive work environment, but fostering the attitude that “if one succeeds, we all succeed” can lead to healthy collaboration.

Create a best practice that centers on caring.


Photo: AMQHumanscale & The Senator Group

Why Caring and Kindness Matter

Stress is a known presence in any work setting.

Why?

Outside forces are constantly battling and making us feel like we’re swimming upstream against a rushing current: competitors are trying to win market share, technologies change, and new government regulations can impact ways of doing business.

Inside the company, executives who are climbing the ladder may quietly compete for the same position. Mid-level managers who are good at what they do might decide to change companies or careers.

These variables create stresses, uncertainty and can snowball into suspicion among staff.

So how can you combat the negatives? By giving recognition where it’s due and opening the channels of communication.


Photo: OFS Lounge

What Do People Crave When Making Workplace More Kind and Caring?

Working with a purpose is an essential element in our overall well-being. If we know that our work matters to customers, and that we matter to the company, then we see the importance of who we are and what we do.

We like recognition for a job that’s done well.

The simple act of recognizing others and doing small acts of kindness is critical to reassuring and positive office space.

The Tested and Proven Results of Kindness

Nothing’s proven in our day and age until it’s tested, right?

That may be an overstatement but University of California researchers, in conjunction with Madrid University in Spain, studied small acts of kindness on the job. They recruited 88 workers at a Coca-Cola plant in Madrid to participate in a happiness study for a month.

Workers were divided into receivers, givers, and a control group. Givers were told to perform small but noticeable acts of kindnesses towards co-workers in the receivers group. The only qualification? Givers were told to do their good deeds quietly and not brag.

Who got the greatest benefit? The givers. After two months, givers said they were more satisfied with their lives and jobs and reported fewer depressive symptoms.


Photo: National Marcelo

Encourage Caring and Kindness

How do you make the workplace more kind and caring? How do you reach this place of caring and kindness?

Think of attitudes and actions that flow organically and aren’t forced.

Leaders in the organization can make sure they find a reason to thank someone each day. Saying thank you creates a connection and shows that you acknowledge the other person’s efforts.

Some individuals will have a difficult time being verbal if it’s not in their nature so they’ll need to be more deliberate. But be patient and continue the practice.

It’s helpful to know your team and their preferences.

If an employee comes up with an idea that helps solve a problem, then show your appreciation with a cup of coffee from their favorite shop.

If people have been working hard, bring in a fruit tray or something else special to the breakroom.

Leave an upbeat greeting card at someone’s workstation who came in early, stayed late, or was helpful with a customer or other employee.

Business owners and operators need each other. Suggest your team leave a note for the office cleaning crew. Sure, they get paid but they work almost anonymously after hours. Treat your other vendors with kindness, as well. Your positivity can have a lasting impact and they could turn into referral sources.

Since we often separate our personal lives from our professional lives, being kind at work could help someone cope with difficulties at home.

Create a Positive Interior

Another act of kindness is planning and designing an inviting office space. Employees feel valued and so do the clients who walk in.

Space planning, using soothing and inspiring colors, and installing quality furnishings work together to improve the quality of life at work, just like interior design does at home.  This is key in making the workplace more kind and caring.


Photo: National Alloy

Our moods and attitudes are influenced by external forces like colors and light. An office interior doesn’t have to be bright, but it should be well-lit with as much natural lighting as possible. For individual workstations there are specific lighting options which let employees chose the amount of light that’s most comfortable for them.

Equipment that doesn’t work well and needs constant repair has a subtle way of lowering expectations. Conversely, bringing in modular workstations with pleasing colored panels. Add height adjustable desks for extra comfort and versatility.

Choose an office style that reflects the company’s brand and personalities. It could be upbeat contemporary or a modern-industrial look.

Think and act ergonomically. Use screen protectors to control glare from computer monitors. Invest in quality chairsthat support and move with a person’s weight and shape. This reduces stress on the knees, lower back and elbows.

Encourage motion like stretching at desks and making sure the staff gets up on a regular basis to walk and get the blood flowing. This is also a great stress reliever.

Design an inviting entrance and use modular furniture in a lounge area so staff can pull the pieces together and visit or have personal space when needed.

Get Proven Input to Make the Workplace More Kind and Caring

Start the road to a refreshed office with input from 2010 Office Furniture. The team has nearly 50 years of experience in working with Southern California’s most distinguish corporations, non-profit organizations, and successful small businesses.

Contact them with your questions and project requirements.

Read Also: Designing Your Office Space from Top-Down to Bottom-Up
Main Photo: Arcadia Contract
Resources & Special Thanks to Respective Product Manufacturers: AMQArcadia Contract, Humanscale, National, OFS & The Senator Group

Easy Ways to Reduce Office Stress and Create a Welcoming Atmosphere

Easy Ways to Reduce Office Stress and Create a Welcoming Atmosphere

The Dangers of Office Stress

Office stress is the greatest threat to employee health and productivity. Short tempers and walking or sitting with slouched shoulders are signs that someone is under stress. Work comes with a lot of stress, especially for companies trying to grow and win market share. Putting together a wellness program is a good idea, but here are easy ways to reduce tensions in the office.

Reduce Clutter

Some people are naturally better at organizing desks and drawers than others. Ask them to share their tips for keeping a desktop or workstation clean and neat. Provide adequate storage for personal belongings and work-related materials such as brochures and office supplies. Use modular open plan benching units that are easily configured like Staks Open Plan Desking by First Office.

Listen

Society is noisy, especially with social media newsfeeds that broadcast opinions on every subject available. Encourage people to take personal social media breaks. In open office environments, personal phone calls and impromptu conversations add to the chatter. Create listening spaces with modular units like the Co-op Lounge by Arcadia or Coact Modular Lounge by First Office. Both help define a meeting space without creating barriers.

The executive team may be used to giving orders, but company leaders and managers should also develop listening skills to hear and address concerns that employees have. Maintaining eye contact, absorbing concerns, and re-stating what the person has said are important steps to listening well. Don’t be too quick to offer solutions. Someone may simply need to share what’s on their mind regarding their work or personal life in order to process. Once they talk about it, the subject can be done. Note action steps that need followed up on and make sure they agree.

Create Shared Experiences

Stress will increase if an employee feels isolated in trying to overcome a problem. Create an environment within departments or across the company where it’s okay to share concerns and invite solutions.  Give credit and recognition to employees who come up with innovative ideas.

Move to Alleviate Office Stress

Encourage people to get up and move on a regular basis. This could be to stretch at the desk or walk down the hallway or outside around the block.  Install a treadmill near a break area for people who want a walking break. Encourage exercise with discounts on gym memberships and have the team post their favorite places to walk and hike.  Ergonomic chairs and height-adjustable personal desks and workstations are also key in reducing office stress. Proper posture when sitting and typing keeps the head and neck balanced and aligned so there is less stress on knees, elbows and wrists.

Reduce Chronic Inflammation

Encourage people to drink plenty of water throughout the day and reduce the amount of sugary and fatty foods they eat. The body adapts to many conditions and people eventually won’t realize the toll that chronic inflammation takes.  Let people know that they’re in an environment dedicated to helping with office stress, where they can also take control and be empowered to help .

Use Office Plants

Indoor plants create a pleasant atmosphere, help filter the air, and even absorb sound. Researchers have found that using office plants reduced blood pressure and employees felt alert. Plants can be used to define personal and departmental work spaces in open office environments.

Reduce Your Office Stress

We’re here to help!  Share your needs with us here for creating an office environment that’s free of office stress, and help create a welcoming atmosphere for your company.

Image Source: OFS LeanTo