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Unexpected at the Office: Random Acts of Kindness in the Workplace

By Laura Burton We hear about random acts of kindness all the time, like buying coffee for the person behind you in line, or cutting your neighbor's grass. Sometimes, we don’t think about our workplaces as a great place for a little extra unexpected kindness.

One of my coworkers is particularly good at bringing gratitude into the workplace. A few months ago, out of nowhere, she brought me a great coffee mug with an Oscar Wilde quote and a note that said “Thank you for all you do for us! You make us look and sound so great!” Her gesture totally made my week. She’s been known to drop flowers off at someone’s desk who’s having a rough day, and signs the card from everyone at the office. Any workplace would be lucky to have someone who brings so much positive energy.

Kindness can be a great way to make your workplace a little more pleasant, and in many workplace cultures, it helps you stand out. Random acts of kindness don’t have to cost anything. A few ideas we came up with at my office:

  • Bring a snack to share with your coworkers.
  • Offer to take on a task for a coworker.
  • Write a note thanking someone who helped you with a project.
  • Clean up a space that’s not your job to keep clean.
  • Compliment someone to their boss.
  • Talk to a coworker you haven’t talked to before.
  • Write a thoughtful recommendation on a coworker’s LinkedIn profile.
  • Offer to go on a coffee or soda run for the office in the afternoon.
  • Donate vacation time to a coworker in need.
  • Bring a coworker their favorite treat or drink.
  • Give someone a ride to or from work.
  • Park in the very furthest parking space from the building.
  • Be a cheerleader for someone else’s idea.

Try doing one random act of kindness at work each day for one week. My workplace, Midland Care, is organizing a random act of kindness campaign called The Kindness Challenge. You can find out more about it and get ideas at www.midlandcare.org/kindness.


lauraburtonLaura Burton is a nonprofit marketer, employed at Midland Care as communications coordinator. She has worked in nonprofit marketing and graphic design for 10 years. She is a graduate of Washburn University and lives in Topeka. https://www.linkedin.com/in/mslauraburton

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