Small Acts of Kindness You Can Perform Anytime

The Big Idea: How to make work more enjoyable this holiday season.


There’s no reason random acts of kindness should be limited to the “outside world” or strangers. In the midst of the holiday season, I challenge you to surprise, delight, and inspire your colleagues with random acts of kindness.

These acts don’t have to require a huge effort or cost a lot of money, if any at all. They often don’t require a lot of time either. All it takes is one small gesture to brighten someone’s day. In no particular order here are a few thought starters:

Ask a coworker a thoughtful question, then listen (actually listen!) to the response.

Nix gossip when you hear it.

Drop off a delicious snack at someone’s desk.

Offer to help with a task a coworker doesn’t enjoy.

Acknowledge another person’s talent.

Open the door for those behind you.

Fill the candy jar on someone else’s desk.

Keep a file of inspiring quotes; send one via email to boost someone’s day.

Invite a new person to join you for lunch.

Notice a coworker’s effort on a project and compliment them.

Deliver a handwritten thank you note.

Pay the bill at a restaurant and buy someone a free meal.

Empty the dishwasher in the break room.

These or other random acts of kindness may or may not make the front page of a newspaper. But this we know for sure: incorporate random acts of kindness into your daily work routine and you’ll find the receivers aren’t the only ones who benefit from your thoughtfulness—you will, too.

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