Kindness goes a long way to create a healthy office

Office workers should come to the water cooler armed with conversation topics and a spirit of kindness, according to experts on office environments.

Several recent articles have highlighted how nurturing positive relationships with employees and colleagues boosts well-being and productivity.

“How we treat one another at work matters,” wrote Christine Porath, an associate professor at Georgetown University’s McDonough School of Business in an opinion piece for The New York Times. “Insensitive interactions have a way of whittling away at people’s health, performance and souls.”

In a research study, published earlier this year in the Journal of Applied Psychology (paywall), Porath found that being kind in everyday office interactions holds big benefits for employees, helping them emerge as natural leaders and mentors.

A culture of kindness also protects workers’ emotional health, lowering the risk of stress-related complications like ulcers, cardiovascular disease and weakened immune systems, she noted.

In spite of these findings, many workers — particularly those in leadership positions or hoping for a promotion — operate under the assumption that nice guys finish last, The Atlantic reported, noting that people often think they have to put down others to rise to the top.

In November 2012, The Wall Street Journal reported that “the workplace ranks dead last among the places people express gratitude. … Only 10 percent of adults say thanks to a colleague every day and just 7 percent express gratitude daily to a boss.”

Researchers like David Rand, who leads Yale University’s Human Cooperation Lab, are working to shift the status quo, reminding workers that being cold or mean can quickly lead to isolation rather than success.

“If you’re interacting with someone repeatedly … it’s in your best interest to be cooperative,” he told The Atlantic. Being known as someone who always wears a smile or is willing to help someone out of a tight spot is essential to succeeding at a company over the long-run.

As Porath noted, not all workplaces are created equal. She designed a quiz that allows people to compare their office environment to other workers’ situations, noting that nurturing kindness as an individual won’t automatically inspire others to do the same. The only aspect of the workplace employees can control is themselves.

“We all need to reconsider our behavior,” Porath wrote. “In every interaction, you have a chance: Do you want to lift people up or hold them down?”

ad-high_impact_4
Life
Celebrity photographer dedicates dance book to Las Vegas shooting victims
Behind the scenes with local celebrity photographer Jerry Metellus as he talks about his Dance For Vegas coffee book dedicated to the 58 victims of the October 1 shooting. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @marcusvillagran
Dreamsickle Kids Foundation founder Gina Glass talks awareness
Gina Glass, 35, founded Dreamsickle Kids Foundation to raise awareness for sickle cell disease in Nevada. (Jessie Bekker/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
The Meadows School founding kindergarten teacher retires after 34 years at the school
Linda Verbon, founder of the The Meadows School's kindergarten program and the first faculty member hired at the school, retired in the spring after 34 years at The Meadows. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Kids become firefighters at Fire Station 98 open house
Henderson residents wore fire hats, learned about CPR and met firefighters at the Fire Station 98 open house Saturday, August 11, 2018. (Marcus Villagran Las Vegas Review-Journal) @brokejournalist
People from all over the world attend RollerCon 2018
RollerCon 2018 is a five-day convention focused on the roller derby community and culture at Westgate in Las Vegas. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @brokejournalist
TOP NEWS
News Headlines
ad-infeed_1
ads_infeed_2
Local Spotlight
Add Event
Home Front Page Footer Listing
Circular
You May Like

You May Like