February 17, 2021

Random Acts of Kindness Day 2021: How You Can Help Spread the Joy

Today is Random Acts of Kindness Day 2021, an annual event that falls on February 17th each year and a tradition that celebrates and encourages kindness between individuals, groups, and organisations across the nation.

While it’s important to be kind as often as you can on a daily basis, it’s often easier said than done if you’re, say, stressed out, feeling down, or simply just having a bad day at work.

That’s why making that extra effort to participate in Random Acts of Kindness Day is that much more important, because suddenly you’re more conscious of spreading joy, kindness, and smiles to those around you – not only because it helps you feel good but because it helps them feel good too.

7 Ways to Spread Some Joy in the Workplace

As human beings, we naturally seek feelings of joy, comfort, and happiness in our day-to-day lives, whether we find that through friends, family, or our favourite chocolate bar.

The same goes for when we’re at work. We want to feel content in the office as it helps keep us motivated and invested in our daily tasks, keeps our mental health in check, and leaves us excited to come back to work the next day.

The catch, however, is that to keep the flow of positive feelings constant, we all have to be willing to get involved – and that means doing some of the leg work. If you’re stuck on how to do this, here are some easy ways you can spread joy in the workplace:

1. Make a ‘virtual’ coffee run
This simple gesture of goodwill never ceases to put a smile on even the most sullen faces.

With many of us working from home, however, it’s a gesture that’s proven difficult to accomplish – but you still have options!

You can, for example, still do a virtual coffee run for one or two of your colleagues, either by sending them a modest online gift voucher or sending their order right to their door using an online app like UberEats or Deliveroo.

2. Give out more compliments
Not everyone knows how to take a compliment, but have we considered that this might possibly be contributed to the fact that we often forget to give them out?

Being mindful about acknowledging people and complimenting someone on a job well done, a good idea, or wearing a nice top to the weekly Zoom meeting will boost their confidence and perhaps add that extra pep in their step for the remainder of the day.

3. Say ‘thank you’
This one should be a no-brainer, but it’s not uncommon to sometimes forget ourselves and fail to show people that they’re appreciated at work. That’s why a simple ‘thank you’ for even the most trivial things is a great way to spread joy in the workplace.

If someone teaches you a new job hack, acknowledge it. If someone sends you an email with helpful information, thank them for it. If your colleague has been accommodating by helping you with your workload, the same rule applies. 

Going out of your way to show your gratitude can genuinely turn someone’s not so great day into a much better one, proving that ‘thank you’ goes a lot further than you might think.

4. Be more inclusive
It’s natural to rely on the opinions of close, trusted colleagues at work when it comes to making in-house decisions, but it’s important to consider the opinions of everyone else on your team too since often times the best ideas come from unlikely sources.

That’s why getting everyone involved and asking their opinion where applicable will prove to be a huge benefit, making everyone feel content and worthy of being heard, and creating equal opportunity for advancement. 

5. Celebrate diversity
Many of us are used to celebrating holidays such as Easter and Christmas at work, but it’s equally as important to acknowledge, support, and celebrate the many other common cultural holidays and events for those from diverse backgrounds. 

This point also corresponds with point four, as this helps those from different cultures and backgrounds feel included and proud of where they come from. It also gives colleagues a chance to get to know one another on a deeper level and form stronger, more meaningful relationships.

Start an online multi-cultural calendar and encourage virtual, educational opportunities to really make the most of celebrating diversity at work – whether that’s in-office or at home.

6. Share a funny meme or joke
Sometimes we just need a little pick me up while we work, so if you come across a funny meme or joke that you think your co-workers will appreciate on a Friday afternoon, then, by all means, press ‘Send’ and get people laughing before the weekend.

7. Offer support
If you notice someone might be struggling with work, whether that be due to their workload or the unprecedented stress from the pandemic, offer your support – even if it can’t be in-person.

You can lend a hand by taking some work off of their plate if you have the capacity, or you can simply lend an ear to their concerns. Whatever the case, we all need a helping hand sometimes, and while not all of us know how to ask for it, we’re always grateful when it’s offered.

While any of the above small acts of kindness will help you spread the joy while you  work today, let’s help make kindness the norm and fit these moments in as often as we can tomorrow and all the days that follow.

If you want to learn more about effectively managing a team and maintaining a positive workforce, take a look at our variety of incredible CIPD HR and L&D programmes