3 Ways to Show Gratitude at Work

3 Ways to Show Gratitude at Work

What are some ways to show gratitude at work? The dictionary defines gratitude as “readiness to show appreciation for and to return kindness”. Scientific experts Emmons and Mishra define it as “an acknowledgment of receiving something of value from others.” It comes with the genuine desire to give back for the goodness received from “the other”. 

In a workplace that is primarily anchored on trust, gratitude could go a long way. Distant assistants are hired for their skills, personality, and experience. You commit to working with them regardless of the fact that they would not be there with you physically.

You cannot see their work station or current activities unless otherwise captured in a screenshot using a time tracker app. Still, you trust them to complete the work that you hired them to do and you find that the value they provide to your business could actually far outweigh short-term successes. 

Related Episode: How to Boost the Bottom Line Through Workplace Well-being

What Gratitude Does at Work

How do you strengthen the unique work relationship with your distant assistant? Money is not always the answer. Emmons and Mishra suggest that gratitude reduces a person’s desire for material things. 

They say, “grateful people report being more willing to part with their possessions, more generous with them, less envious of the material wealth of others, less committed to the idea that material wealth is linked with success in life, and less convinced of the idea that material wealth brings happiness.”

Distant assistants find happiness in their ability to work from the comforts of home, in experiencing the possibility of life balance, and in the opportunity to contribute with their skills.

When you develop a company culture that supports the things they love, you encourage them to do better. There is a peculiar kind of happiness that cannot be achieved by materialism. It is a kind of happiness that boosts their morale as humans and as individual contributors to society. 

It is the kind of happiness that makes somebody genuinely, utterly grateful.

Related Post: Why People Decide to Work from Home

Here are three (3) ways to show gratitude at work.

1. Stick it to “the wall”

Name at least one good thing that happened to you in your job because of your distant assistant or colleague.  It could be a milestone achieved in a project, a 5-star review from a customer, or an easier workflow. Is there somebody who helped to make that happen?

If yes, let that person know that you are thankful. Write down some kind words and send to that person. A fun way to appreciate team effort is by putting up an exclusive place (e.g., an appreciation wall) where everybody gets to express their thanks.

UC Berkeley, for example, has what they call a “Kudos” web page. They give employees the chance to recognize one another’s work, with a focus on the person instead of the deed done. Words of thanks are received and directed to a web page that highlights them.     

This is especially great for teams who thrive in a virtual workplace environment. You do not have to build a website. A pinned post in a Facebook group page, a highlighted message board in a collaboration app (e.g., Basecamp), or a simple Google Document are good alternatives to start with. 

2. Share your blessings

“What are you thankful for?” You could use this as an opening question in meetings with your distant assistants. It is the same method that we use with our internal staff at Bottleneck Distant Assistants, where we encourage them to share things that made their day or week worthwhile.

You would be surprised by the answers that they give. Sometimes these answers come as hoorays for a project done. Some share sincere thanks for trivial things. Others gladly share intimate moments of their lives. 

Everybody has something to share no matter how big or how small. It is the thought that counts—the opportunity to show appreciation and to celebrate the kind of happiness that makes us human at work. 

3. Say it through kindness

Kindness can be said not only in words but also in deeds. Think of at least one area of your business where your distant assistant works. How many hours a week does your distant assistant spend working with you? 

Distant assistants work hard every day to finish projects and/or routine assignments. Sometimes they work more hours than required due to their dedication in their line of trade.

Is there anything that you think your Distant assistant could use to simplify the work? It does not have to be anything material. It could be some time off from work or an opportunity to hone their skills (e.g., a workshop or an online course). 

A simple act of kindness can make a whole lot of difference. 

Related Episode: Turn a Business Around: Creating a Culture Based on Gratitude


Gratitude can go a long way for your business. It boosts morale, cultivates a positive culture, and inspires distant assistants to do better without being told. Also, it is a better motivator than money as studies suggest.

It is free, yet could achieve so much more long-term as it strengthens that unique bond you have with your DAs. It shows your support for them and fosters their desire to give back and appreciate what they have in life.  

Looking to hire a distant assistant? Get started with a free consultation at Bottleneck Distant Assistants.

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Jaime Jay

About Jaime Jay

Meet Jaime Jay – a man who wears many hats, and wears them all admirably. He's a master connector, an entrepreneur extraordinaire, and a published author who knows how to get things done.

Before he found his way to the business world, Jaime served his country as a brave paratrooper in the U.S. Army. But that's just the beginning of his many accomplishments.

He's the founder of the renowned Bottleneck Distant Assistant Services firm, and his book "Quit Repeating Yourself" has become a must-read for entrepreneurs everywhere.

When he's not busy building his empire, you can find him on his beloved Harley Davidson, cruising through the countryside and taking in the invigorating effects of Uitwaaien – a Dutch practice that involves facing the wind to boost health and relieve stress.

He enjoys spending his free time outside building stuff with his wife, Nikita the dog and their two kittens (for now at least) Tommy and Tater.

He is ‘over-the-moon’ happily married to his wonderful wife Sara, his amazing daughter, Jessica, who is serving our country as a United States Army soldier. Jaime and Sara are the proud grand parents of two beautiful little girls.


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