Random Acts of Kindness

Nice Things to Do for Your Coworkers

Bringing a coworker coffee is a nice thing to do.
••• Cultura RM/Jason Butcher / Collection Mix: Subjects / Getty Images

Random acts of kindness are unexpected things we can do to brighten up other people's days. Examples would be paying for someone's order at a coffee shop or giving a neighbor a ride home from the train station on a rainy day. They aren't activities that typically take a lot of time, but they can be very meaningful to the recipient.

Performing random acts of kindness can help improve the atmosphere at your workplace. When you do something nice for a coworker, he or she will truly appreciate it and may pay it forward by performing an act of kindness for someone else. Here are 24 ways to make a coworker's day.

  • Bring your coworker a cup of coffee when he or she seems in need of a late day pick-me-up.
  • Share your mid-afternoon snack with your coworker or, if you don't want to share, bring an extra one (everyone gets hungry a couple of hours after lunch).
  • Buy your coworker her favorite iced cold beverage on the first warm day of the year. There's nothing like an iced coffee or tea to welcome spring.
  • Celebrate Friday—or make Monday more bearable—by bringing in a treat for the entire department. Alternatively, you can do this on a rainy day to cheer everyone up.
  • Offer to stay at work late or come in early to help a coworker with a difficult project. Don't wait to be asked because some people are reluctant to say they need assistance. However, make sure your coworker wants your help.
  • Praise your associate for a job well done. People rarely complain about getting too many compliments.
  • Clean out the break room fridge before everyone else arrives for the day or after they have left. You'll have the gratitude of the entire staff.
  • Take a difficult customer off your coworker's hands by interrupting their conversation and saying you're there to relieve him for lunch or a break (it doesn't have to be true).
  • If you see your colleague is about to make a mistake, try to intervene to prevent it. Most people—unfortunately not all—will appreciate the interference.
  • Offer unsolicited advice, especially to a new colleague who seems to be floundering. Again, not everyone will be grateful for your intervention, but most people will.
  • Stop others from spreading a rumor about someone. You may make some enemies, but the subject of the gossip will truly appreciate it.
  • If you see something your colleague will absolutely love—for example, a book about a topic in which he or she is interested—give it as a gift. Avoid getting something that is too extravagant, however.
  • Invite a less experienced colleague to a meeting or to work on a project that can help her grow. Before you do this, make sure his or her supervisor and yours are okay with it.
  • Ask a new coworker to join your lunch group. Remember what it was like to have to eat alone?
  • Stop by your coworker's desk to say good morning or goodbye.
  • Hold the (otherwise unoccupied) elevator while your colleague runs back to his or her desk to get a forgotten item even if you're in a hurry to leave the building.
  • Praise your officemate to his or her boss who may not realize how hard he or she is working.
  • Save your cubicle neighbor from having to make a trip to the office supply closet by offering to pick up extra supplies when you get yours.
  • Volunteer to mentor an inexperienced coworker. Many people are too shy to ask or may not even think of it.
  • Put your colleague's bully in his or her place or listen sympathetically to your coworker's complaints about it. Offer advice on how to deal with a workplace bully.
  • Tell a coworker about an internal job opening for which you think he or she would be perfect.
  • Pack an extra brown bag lunch for a coworker who can't ever seem to remember to bring his or her own.
  • Have an errand to run in your coworker's neighborhood after work? Offer him or her a ride home.
  • Offer to relieve your associate of his or her undesirable tasks for a day or more. Be sure to clear it with both your bosses.