Research shows that gratitude helps to avoid burnout

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It’s official: ditching the attitude and showing some gratitude proffers a whole host of health benefits


In Horrible Bosses, the 2011 comedy movie starring Jennifer Aniston, a bunch of colleagues decide to hire a hitman to deal with – shall we say – issues in the workplace. But it doesn’t have to be this way, as research has repeatedly shown that being thankful is actually good for you. The benefits of showing gratitude at work are many and varied: improved physical and mental health, closer bonds between colleagues, and better sleep. And proper rest is a sure-fire way to avoid the sort of exhaustion that leads to burnout, so it pays to play nice. As the world’s largest office space-provider, Regus takes a holistic approach to the world of work that goes beyond fittings and fixtures: from tips for working remotely to a fully-fledged office environment, here’s how we like to show gratitude at work:

Say it spontaneously

Sure, “employee of the month”-style awards have their place but they also lack a certain something when it comes to authenticity. There’s no need to leave a heartfelt thank you to a formal occasion when it makes more sense – and has more resonance – to express yourself on the spur of the moment.

Take it offline

There’s nothing like a “thanks everyone” reply-all email to rally the troops. But not in a good way. So take the time to show your gratitude by doing it face to face, and the colleague on the receiving end will respond with a smile. If remote working stops you from making real-life contact, you could even send a card.

Write it down

It doesn’t need to take long: at the end of each day, make a record of five colleagues and the actions they took to make you grateful in a gratitude journal. Whether it’s a quick note or a deep dive into their award-winning behaviour doesn’t matter: what’s important is that you acknowledge it.

Look inside yourself

How about a little self-praise? We humans are all too good at focussing on what went wrong and the things on our to-do lists that we haven’t ticked off, yet spending more time reflecting on what went right and what we did accomplish is a guaranteed mood-booster – especially when we’re feeling low.

Challenge your choices

It’s easy to say thank you for something when everything’s going great. But what about a performance review in which you’re told there’s room for improvement? Or an awkward meeting that you handled with grace? Finding gratitude in situations like these will help to give you a more grounded, level-headed approach to your work.

Mix it up

Everyone likes a routine – in part because it allows us to operate on autopilot – and that applies to gratitude too. So instead of looking in the same places to apportion thanks, find new colleagues and different behaviours you might not have previously considered, and see how they’ve helped you to improve your working day too.  


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