Practice Workplace Kindness

Posted On Dec 2, 2014 By Rachel Weingarten

How to make your workplace a better place

I haven't worked in a formal workplace in a really long time. Most days, it's just me and my keyboard, with breaks during the day for my social networks providing a place to gossip and catch up on everything from pop culture to politics. Of course, there are lunches and dinners with friends and colleagues, but for the most part, it's a pretty solitary work style. It's also the one that works best for me.

On occasion, I have to spend time deep in the more traditional office culture, and I feel like a visitor from a different planet trying to interpret the more subtle nuances of a day-to-day cubicle culture. I recently spent two days on-site with a new-to-me client. Before heading over there, I studied up on the dress code and location and all of the accessible minutiae that would allow me insights in how to best present myself.

What I couldn't study from afar though, were the face-to-face interactions and how they made up the greater fabric of this company. And what struck me the most was the fact that most of these amazing and hard-working professionals had for better or worse entered into work relationships and daily interactions that mimicked a family dynamic or marriage. Even more than that, because of familiarity or experience, some treated each other in ways that shocked me as an outsider.

There was a great lesson to be learned there. Sometimes your daily routine just shouldn't be that routine. If you're working so hard to improve your fitness level or mood, it might be a good idea to pay attention to your work space as well and think about improvements to be made there. If you're the one doing the bossing around, consider upgrading your attitude.

And if you're the one being treated shabbily, figure out a way to make things better on the grand scale.