3 Ways to Pay It Forward at the Office

Tips to kickstart your gratitude campaign

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“If you have the power to make someone happy, do it. The world needs more of that.” – Unknown

Whenever I receive a compliment or an unexpected gift, I’m immediately uplifted. Last week, a friend sent me a postcard in the mail just “because”—and we live in the same city! The sweet gesture inspired me to practice thoughtfulness all day.

The “pay it forward’ philosophy is well-known for a reason: passing on good deeds spreads positivity, and it can ultimately foster a more caring society.

Life is a series of giving and receiving, so expressing gratitude is vital for maintaining a world full of empathetic people. Plus, research shows that gratitude is a strong contributor to human health, happiness and social connection.

But you don’t need to trek far from home base to make a difference. In fact, starting a “pay it forward” movement at work is the perfect place to start. The effect of a simple gesture will improve your relationships with co-workers and inspire them to do the same.

If you’re interested in starting a “pay it forward” movement at work,, use these tips to kickstart your gratitude campaign:

  1. Show your appreciation for others. Contrary to popular belief, it doesn’t need to be Employee Appreciation Day or Boss’s Day to recognize someone’s hard work! Let others know their hard work doesn’t go unnoticed. Grab a coffee for your cubicle buddy at lunch or tell them why they inspire you to do better.And there’s no rule against showing appreciation for a superior, just be careful that it doesn’t come off as brown-nosing instead.
  2. Lend a helping hand.We can’t read each other’s minds. Many people put on a happy face, even when their workload starts to overwhelm them. Look for someone in the office who always stays late, or hasn’t taken time off in ages. Ask them how you can help out with a project or a deadline. If you have some time to spare, give it over. They will feel valued and recognized for the work they’re putting in, and it may inspire them to offer help next—so the cycle continues!
  3. Take someone out to lunch. More often than not, people get caught up in an isolated routine at work. It may seem easy to keep your head down, get your work done, and clock out, but all that does in the long run is hinder your well-being and Break the chain by inviting a few work mates out for tacos. Not only will the change of scenery spike creativity, but spending time socializing will greatly decreases your chance of having a bad day.

On average, Americans spend over 34 hours a week at the office. Make that time extra valuable with the “pay it forward” philosophy, and others will take your cue. Make the effort to get the ball rolling, and others will keep it moving.

By Ashley Stahl, Originally Published in Forbes

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