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.
Why Caring and Kindness Matter
Stress is a known presence in any work setting.
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.
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: AMQ, Arcadia Contract, Humanscale, National, OFS & The Senator Group