As we come towards the end of Mental Health Awareness Week, we’ve done a lot of reflecting on what it means to be kind.
We’ve seen the connection between kindness and mental health, and how it brings people together even the most difficult of times. A simple act of kindness has been shown to reduce stress, boost our self-esteem and create a sense of belonging. Indeed, research by the Mental Health Foundation has shown that 63% of people in the UK agreed that when other people were kind to them, it positively influenced their mental health.
But what about kindness at work? Should we all be a little kinder to our colleagues too?
For us, it’s a no-brainer. The benefits of bringing kindness into the workplace are significant, helping to strengthen working relationships and boost team morale. Given the increase in remote working, it’s more important than even to connect with our colleagues and keep our spirits high, and being kind to one another is an easy way to do this.
Here we’ve thought of a few ways we can show kindness at work, but you may also have your own!
Check in with your colleagues to see how they are doing. Asking “how are you?” is the smallest act of kindness but can make the biggest difference to someone’s day.
Take your time to listen. It might sound simple, but listening to others is harder than we think. Are we really listening, or are we caught up in our own thoughts and feelings? If your colleague wants to chat, lend an ear and listen without judgement.
Do something nice for your colleagues. You could arrange a video call to have lunch or offer to help them out with something (work-related or otherwise!)
Let your colleague know you value them. Sharing your appreciation through a kind comment can improve everyone’s wellbeing. So if they’ve done something well, tell them!
Whilst it’s important to be kind to others, don’t forget that we also need to be kind to ourselves. As the old saying goes: “you can’t pour from an empty cup”. Show kindness to yourself by doing things you enjoy, taking it slow and saying “no” when you need to. It’s okay to prioritise you.
All of these actions, no matter how small, will help to create a kinder, more connected workplace.
What could you do today to make a difference?