Why workplace kindness matters

Local company Merlin Office Equipment shares some thoughts on how being kind can make an enormous difference to workplace wellbeing.

There’s a lot of focus on mental health these days, which reflects an increasingly caring society. However, even though national events such as Stress Awareness Month and Mental Health Awareness Week are well known, there may still be issues hidden within your workplace.

Understanding the importance of year-round workplace kindness is crucial for all types of modern businesses. It doesn’t have to be a case of buying your staff pizza every Friday (although that’s not a bad idea), but it does require a clear focus on wellbeing that’s firmly integrated into your company culture.

The impact of stress on employees

Workplace stress can cause various health issues in an individual, both mental and physical:

  • Anxiety, depression and a sense of being overwhelmed
  • Headaches, sore eyes and a lack of concentration
  • Disjointed sleep and insomnia
  • Back pain and chronic aches throughout the wider body
  • Weakened immunity, which can quickly lead to other health issues

The knock-on effects within an organisation

Aside from knowing that your employees are feeling under the weather, which is never a nice situation as a business owner, workplace stress can also affect a company in numerous ways:

  • Reduced productivity and the making of avoidable mistakes
  • More frequent and longer periods of absenteeism 
  • Low morale spreading throughout your teams
  • A detrimental effect on your brand’s reputation
  • Higher costs, especially if staff are away for prolonged periods

How to spread kindness in the workplace

The idea of stress being character-building is flawed. Whilst challenges are an excellent way to take staff out of their comfort zone and encourage continuous personal development, stress is a sign of an individual not having access to the right support or resources. The way to rectify this is by spreading kindness throughout the workplace, which can take multiple forms:

  • Show gratitude – when staff know that their work is valued, they naturally feel more valued in return, which helps to reduce stress levels.
  • Supply healthy snacks – buying fresh fruit for the office really can work wonders, as it keeps employees energised and boosts their immune systems.
  • Recognise achievements – when an employee or a team accomplishes something major, it’s time to show recognition in whichever way you believe is most suitable.
  • Celebrate birthdays and work anniversaries – depending on the size of your workforce, this could be anything from cake and balloons to treating everyone to a delicious lunch.
  • Be there for them – managers who make it clear that they can be approached with problems build more trust than those who consider it to be someone else’s job.
  • Lead by example – saying hi to colleagues when you arrive at work, getting to know your staff’s interests, a patient manner and general politeness go a very long way in enhancing how a company operates.
  • Make your workplace comfortable – ergonomic chairs, desks designed around high performance and welcoming breakout spaces prevent aches and pains that lead to workplace stress.

Upgrade your office

Merlin Office Equipment creates positive workplace environments that ensure your staff are comfortable, happy and productive. To find out more about how we can design office layouts that perfectly suit your exact requirements and increase workflow, get in touch on 01482 301000.