Refill the Coffee (and Other Tips for Workplace Happiness

Friday, 14 December, 2018

The silly season is basically upon us, but it’s never too early to start thinking about how to make 2019 your year. You spend a lot of your life at work amongst colleagues, but probably not much time thinking about the things you could do to make work a better place to be, right? What a lot of people don’t know is that it’s the little things that go a long way…

Small acts of kindness can have a big impact on workplace happiness. It’s the little things like greeting your co-workers in the morning, holding the door open for them, or offering to get someone lunch if you’re heading out and you know they’re busy. Success in the workplace is very seldom a solo endeavour – healthy, productive relationships foster positive attitudes, a willingness to go the extra mile for others, and ultimately a stronger team. Cliché as it may be, teamwork really does make the dream work!

It’s the little things

One issue that always seems to crop up in any office is the coffee. More specifically, the act of refilling the coffee when the pot is empty. It seems like such a small thing, but the impact it can have is often taken for granted. Think how you feel when you make a fresh pot of coffee in the morning, and come back to an empty one a bit later. Someone actually poured themselves the last cup, and then just walked away. When you’re always the one making the coffee, resentment starts to build, and in some cases, passive-aggressive post-it notes ensue. 

The things is, it’s not about the coffee – it’s about thinking of others, and being considerate of the people you work with. Small gestures may not seem like much, but their impact accumulates. So if you want to make work a better place to be in 2019, here are 5 things you can do (besides making the coffee) to improve your workplace happiness…

5 Tips to make work a better place to be

1. Smile. Be friendly. A smile costs you nothing, and makes people feel welcomed. Greet people warmly, and take the time to ask them how they are. Show an interest in their lives. 

2. Listen to others’ ideas and opinions. Even if you don’t agree, respect their right to share what they think, and listen attentively. Everyone just wants to be heard.

3. Share praise and gratitude openly and often. Thank your colleagues for their assistance, and praise their achievements. And of course, give credit where credit is due. People want to be recognised for their contributions – make them feel appreciated.

4. “That’s not my job” should never be said out loud. Go the extra mile and help out where you can. Step up, and people will always return the favour when you’re the one in need.

5. Find small ways to brighten someone’s day: bring in cake for everyone, make them a cup of coffee, or write a nice note. Acts of kindness don’t just make other people happy – research shows the effect is positive for the giver as well as the receiver.  

2019 is just around the corner – a new chance to implement small acts of kindness, and of course, make the coffee!

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