If your life is like mine, it can seem like you’re in the office (or en route to the office) more than you are at home! Many times we look at this as a hinderance to giving back, but all everyone needs to do is get creative!
Some companies make it very easy to give back at work through explicit acts that support causes, like sponsor a charitable walk, have a matching donations program in place, and/or offer paid sabbaticals to do volunteer work. The benefits to having programs as such are felt in both the community and the office. According to the 2010 Cone Cause Evolution study, employees who are very involved in their company’s cause program are 28% more likely to be proud of their company values and 36% more likely to feel a sense a loyalty to the company than those who are not involved.
However if your office doesn’t have a clear policy/plan for charitable involvement, don’t let that stop you. There are still ways that you can give back at work. Check out the five listed below…
Volunteer for pro-bono assignments.
If you work in the fields of accounting/law/communications/healthcare, there’s a chance that your company offers its services to individuals and/or organizations on a pro-bono basis. If these opportunities come up, sign up for them! It’s a great way for you to gain some visibility in the office while sharpening your skills on a project that falls outside of your day-to-day responsibilities.
Take a day off and volunteer at your favorite charity.
While organizations LOVE special event volunteers and weekend help, they also really appreciate any assistance during regular business hours to help with important administrative tasks. Call your favorite organization. I’m sure that they be more than grateful for the weekday help!
Donate leftover event supplies and materials to a local organization.
My office is part workstation and part storage closet. In PR, we tend to amass an ungodly amount of random items like branded gloves, art supplies, tees, toiletries, and tablecloths from various events and initiatives throughout the year. Knowing this, our office often donate surplus items to charities in our area. I’ve donated extra gloves to shelters and art supplies to teachers and community groups. Simple, see?
Put together a team volunteer outing.
While there’s nothing wrong with the typical team outing (beers at a local bar), reach out to your peers and see if there’s something else that you can do. Perhaps it’s participating in a charity softball tournament or volunteering at a soup kitchen after work. No matter what the activity is, you are certain to learn a little more about your colleagues while making a difference.
Invite students to your office.
I loved “shadow days” in high school and college. It gave me an opportunity to learn about various companies and get a glimpse into the things that they were working on. This knowledge was very valuable to me as I plotted my career path and goals. Ask your manager or HR team member if the office has a formal plan for bringing students in.
There you go. Five very simple ways that you can give back at work. How does your office get involved in charitable causes?