28 May 2020

Compassion at work: Why is it so important?


How does compassion at work link to productivity and profitability? And how can we be more compassionate at work?

There are a few things you could consider:

1. Energy levels

Energy levels vary from person to person and at different times of the day. Ask yourself and your people the following question: 'My energy levels really peak and dip at…'

Especially when working from home, our energy levels can be all over the place, so designing the working day around when you can focus, and when you need to rest is critical. Sharing this information is useful so that others know when it is best to let you work, and when is good to connect. This will really make your team efficient!

2. Flexible working

Let's take a look at these three scenarios of people wanting to take Fridays off work and work longer days from Monday to Thursday:

Erica, a single mother of two young children who would like to spend Fridays with her family and save on childcare.

Frances, who has been with her company for almost 20 years and would like to spend Fridays to take care of herself and her mental health.

Antonio, who likes to go clubbing on a Thursday night because that's when his friends can go out with him as they work weekends but are off on Fridays.

Who would you feel comfortable with to agree to their desired arrangement? Most of you would probably say yes to Erica and Frances, but why not Antonio? His friends are his family, and he just leads a different lifestyle. You should not make rules for some people that are not going to be available to others. This will only cause resentment or expose you to potential discrimination claims and you may lose valuable people in the process. Why lose a great employee, that you employed for a reason after all, just because you might not fully understand their motives?

3. Trust and freedom

I have worked in many companies that allowed senior managers to work from home whenever they wanted to but denied everyone else that right. Working from home is not a privilege, it's not a perk, it's a right.

If you want your team to be productive and your business to be profitable, you need to trust them. They are adults, capable of taking on responsibility for their actions so you don't have to worry and stress about every decision anymore. If your team takes on responsibilities for their tasks, they need to have the freedom to decide how, where and when they will be able to complete them, keeping in mind that they will also be held accountable to deliver good quality work to their agreed deadlines.

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Katrin Kircheis

From a very young age, Katrin's dream was to become a teacher. However, she soon found out that by being one, kids and teenagers can be quite exhausting and changed course. She started travelling and stayed in places like Iceland and Australia. This gave her the opportunity to meet people from different backgrounds and get to know their outlook in life. Seven years ago, she moved from Germany to London where she settled down and found her new passion – teaching adults.

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