How To Be Kind To Your Coworkers Amid The Coronavirus Pandemic [World Kindness Day Special]

Computer screen reads 'be kind' that further signifies the importance of spreading kindness at work

The coronavirus outbreak has forced most of us into uncomfortable situations resulting in a severe personal and professional life imbalance. With responsibilities piling up on the work front, the boundaries between WFH and personal leisure time are also blurring. Many coworkers view talking about their problems as a sign of weakness or vulnerability. However, if you’re noticing signs of burnout or emotional fatigue – reach out to your coworkers with empathy, even when you can’t physically be with them. Kindness at work is what the world needs today!

At Roomi, we aim to celebrate kindness every day! However, this World Kindness Day, we wanted to share some ways to help your coworkers through the coronavirus crisis.

1. Reach out & spread kindness at work

With nearly all of us tied up with work from home, it’s easy to forget the warm faces and big smiles that once greeted us each morning. If you haven’t already, take some time to reach out to different teams to check on them. Keep this call separate from work and give time for your peers to express their concerns.

2. Understand their daily struggles & routine

Everyone is facing the same crisis, but not everyone is facing it under the same circumstances. With most countries under a second lockdown and roommates traveling back home, most people are having to work in isolation. Others manage a massive load of chores with work from home. And most are cut off from their family & friends. If you have a floating team worldwide, many other cultural & state restrictions also come into play. So take time to understand the following about your coworkers, and see which ways you can offer help and spread kindness at work:

  • Are they away from friends & family? Do they have any social support?
  • How are they feeling amid the coronavirus pandemic (both physically and mentally)?
  • Who are they sharing their space with – family/kids/roommates/SO/pets?
  • Do they have the ability to work during the day? Or are they trying to manage work at night when it’s quiet?
  • Do they have access to good internet or struggle to find a reliable connection all day while working from home?
  • Do they have access to groceries and essentials?

Conclusion: It’s difficult to know how someone is doing until we take the time to ask. More and more workplaces are demanding productivity, not knowing what the employees are undergoing personally. This small effort as a Team Lead, Manager, or just a colleague could really brighten someone’s day. Let’s put mental peace before tasks and spread kindness at work.

Related: 20 Work From Home Memes That Show We Are In This Together!

3. Stay in touch even when working from home

We need this now more than ever! Invite your colleagues for virtual coffee, a gaming session, or birthday parties, and let them know that you care. Set up time slots to check up on either groups or individuals daily or at least weekly.

Sometimes a simple text like, “Hey Sarah, how are you doing?” can help someone feel loved and cared for.

4. Create a safe, nurturing place where people prioritize kindness at work

Create a safe, encouraging, and nurturing place for all your coworkers to seek refuge in these challenging times. The coronavirus pandemic has impacted our physical, mental, and social wellbeing. With our minds filled with anxieties and a sense of impending doom, it’s hard to find calm & peace in our waking lives. However, our actions can help establish a positive work field for many of our coworkers who WFH.

It’s okay to not be perfect

Make it okay for coworkers to not have perfect outfits, hair, or backgrounds during Zoom calls. It’s always great to practice what you preach; in this case, you could start by sharing instances that point out how you’re struggling and need help. This will encourage more people to speak up and deal with the crisis in a better way. Just be sure it doesn’t spiral into a negative conversation, and offer supportive ways to help them through.

A culture of gratitude

Consider initiating a team gratitude practice by starting or finishing each meeting with a question:

  • What made you smile today?
  • What are you most grateful for today?
  • What’s the Coronavirus pandemic taught you?
  • What’s one thing you took for granted before the Coronavirus pandemic?

Be patient & forgiving

Get in the habit of appreciating more and criticizing less. Be patient and understanding with your coworkers, yes, even when they arrive late at a meeting or forget some detail in an email/presentation. For example: “Jennifer, I noticed that you haven’t submitted the weekly report yet. I wanted to check if you need my help with it. Also hoping you and your family are doing well.”

Regardless of a crisis, how we respond when coworkers make a mistake profoundly impacts them and the culture you’re trying to build. Be kind and empathetic to build a safe place for people to work in.

D’you know what else Roomi does outside of helping its work from home readers spread kindness at work? With our ever-increasing lists of rooms and roommates across the world, we help you find your perfect match! Download the app here and hop on the easiest ride home, ever!