Kill them with kindness: The importance of kindness in the workplace
Every year on the 13th of November World Kindness Day is celebrated, but should kindness really be limited to one day? Shouldn’t we sprinkle it randomly every day of the week, all year round?
There are articles left, right and centre telling us workaholics how to perform better in the workplace or how to get ahead in the workplace, but what about kindness in the workplace? There seems to be a little gap in the atmosphere for a piece on the importance of kindness in the workplace, so I thought I would fill it.
The shocking stats
Within this fast paced industry, it is often easy to get caught up with your day to day tasks and forget to look up from your computer screen all day. With stress and depression in the workforce rising within creative industries (as well as many others!), Government data shows that stress-related illnesses including depression cost the UK at least £6.5bn a year. Of course, this is a very complex issue because it can often be seen as a taboo topic - however, could this be helped with more kindness within the office?
Furthermore, an estimated 11.7 million working days were lost to stress, depression and anxiety in 2015/6 and stress accounted for 45 percent of all days lost to sickness absence. Wow. That is one big statistic.
So as well as kindness being good for the soul, there are many positive effects which could aid you in the workplace. These include increasing energy, happiness, and serotonin levels while lowering stress, anxiety, and blood pressure. In an survey conducted by Random Act of Kindness, ‘half of participants in one study reported that they feel stronger and more energetic after helping others; many also reported feeling calmer and less depressed, with increased feelings of self-worth.’
Kindness really is contagious, so buy your co-worker a coffee, give your boss a compliment or smile at someone in the lift - it will firstly, really make their day and might encourage them to do the same for someone else. Let’s be honest, even holding the door open for someone is a nice gesture - you spend so much time at work, so just stop your day and do something kind!
What does this really mean?
So what does this really mean for the workplace? Happy workers equals great output. It is really as simple as that. Encouraging random acts of kindness throughout the workforce will contribute to a boost in serotonin, leading to a happier workforce but also better ideas, contribution and culture. As well as this, companies and organisations will reap the benefit of nurturing happy staff and may see lower sickness rates, higher productivity and lower staff turnover.
Now, if you really don’t believe me - watch this fantastic short film by Random Acts of Kindness:
‘Three things in human life are important: the first is to be kind; the second is to be kind; and the third is to be kind.’ Henry James, Novelist