50 IDEAS - and some bonus suggestions - both frivolous
and serious..... to help you try something a little different,
possibly risky or even inspirational!
1. Wear your favourite clothes - that special
outfit that brings out the best in you.
2. Change your e-mail footer to include an inspirational
3. Thank the IT team for the service they give you.
4. Carry your favourite CD so that everyone else can listen
5. Take a picture of your children to add on the 'love and
6. Hold a meeting in the park, local coffee shop or museum/
7. Write and share your "other" resume - all those
skills and experiences you have picked up which you would
not normally include in your official CV.
8. Draw a metaphorical picture of yourself and add it on
your office BYTWD wall of fame.
9. Bring a photo of you when you were a child.
10. Wear that very special perfume/cologne.
11. Wear your favourite jewellery and tell everyone why
it is so special.
12. Buy a bunch of flowers and put them on your desk.
13. Bring some crayons, use the conference room paper to
make a drawing with your colleagues.
14. Find a copy of African Drums music and dance (or whatever
music you like to dance to!!!)
15. Order a cake or a big bowl of fruit and eat it with
16. Wear a T-Shirt that reveals something of you.
17. Organize a themed meeting with your colleagues. Themes:
my first bicycle, the best Christmas present etc.
18. Play hide and seek in the office.
19. Organise a pretend camp fire on the floor sitting in
a circle and share a never told before story.
20. Print alternative business cards that tell another story
about you - let people know about all the roles you play
over and above your work role.
21. Tell someone else something about yourself that you're
really proud of, or was a high point in your life, and ask
others to reciprocate.
22. Tell someone about an ambition of yours, and why it
is so important, and ask others to reciprocate.
23. Tell a person you work with what you really appreciate
about them. Praise them for some special care you saw them
put into what they do.
24. Tell your manager/boss what you really appreciate about
them (contrary to popular belief, managers need praise too).
25. Ask people what it is they appreciate about you, what
value you really bring to those around you. You might be
surprised by the answers!
26. Smile and make real contact with people all day - people
in shops, people on the street, people in the train. Break
into conversation if you feel brave enough!! Between women
a good starter is 'I was just admiring your outfit'... Dogs
and children break the ice too...
27. If you are having a meeting on Bring YourSELF to Work
day, tell everyone about it so they can join in. Start the
meeting by having everyone introduce themselves in a different
way - e.g. by telling people something they are finding
challenging at the moment, and something they've achieved
that they felt really good about. (This is a first step
of allowing the subject of emotions into the workplace!!)
28. If you are a manager, open up a conversation with your
team about the extent to which the workplace and your culture
is set up to support everyone to 'bring themselves to work'.
Do they want to? What do they think would happen if they
did? What benefits do we think it would have? Are there
unspoken rules about what is appropriate/not appropriate
or allowed/not allowed? Are the boundaries real or imagined?
Do they work for us? There may be some 'rules' we want to
maintain, but some we could relax - maybe just as an experiment.
29. Do you have skills that you use outside of work that
people don't know about? E.g. in your hobbies, sports, as
a parent, as a carer etc. Share them with each other and
see if it changes your perception of people.
30. SET YOUR INTENTION - to be your best self at work today
- however that is. Bring all your best qualities that get
forgotten when you are chasing deadlines or targets.
31. RELAX AND GET CENTRED - it takes just two minutes to
do a simple relaxation before a meeting or challenging task.
Remember how effective you can be and bring this to the
job in hand.
32. PRAISE OTHERS - go out of your way to tell people what
they do well and acknowledge their contribution. Be curious
and interested in how much there is to your colleagues that
you don't normally see.
33. RANDOM ACTS OF KINDNESS - do an unexpected favour for
your colleagues - print a document, run to the shops, send
them home early while you finish a piece of work to help
34. FUN - inject some fun and humour into your day - a silly
card, a toy, a song, a smiley face - anything to lighten
up a bit. Enjoy your work and your colleagues and go home
in a good mood.
33. Make their day - how can you engage fellow employees,
customers and make each other's day?
34. Be Present - How can you make sure you are fully available
and aware during conversations with people? It is about
create a greater sense of intimacy between individuals.
35. Choose Your Attitude - Each day you choose how you are
going to act or which "side of the bed" you wake
up on. The choice is yours and, the way you act, affects
36. If you have to go into a difficult/important situation
on the day, think ideally how you would like it to turn
out, think how you need to be in order to have that positive
outcome, see if you can remember a time in the past when
you were like that (remember it as much in technicolour
as you can - what did you see, hear, feel etc)... Then see
if you can take that 'state' into the difficult situation
and notice how it turns out.
37. Phone up someone from your past that you haven't spoken
to for a while - maybe an old colleague or client and have
a chat, for no particular reason, just to make their day
(tell them about BYTW day while you're at it!!)
38. Have a discussion as a team about the extent to which
your workplace, culture and ways of working support you
and others to bring themselves to work. Are there aspects
that restrict you? E.g. perceived disapproval, conventions,
hierarchy etc. Consider are these restrictions real or imagined?
Are they useful? Which ones do you want to keep and which
ones do you want to get rid of? What can you all do to make
it more OK for people to be themselves? If you are a management
team, great, you can probably affect quite a lot. If you
are lower down the company, start with things you can affect,
and go from there. Is there anyone else you need to get
on board to make this work?
38. Quit complaining all day long.
39. Bring something in your pocket really dear to you and
be ready to participate at the "Show and Tell Tea/Coffee
40. Think of an animal that would represent your very best
qualities. Bring it to the work zoo.
41. Break a rule.
43. Expect to have fun all day.
44. Work as if you'd do it if you weren't being paid.
45. Look in the mirror and see yourself as the 'boss or
colleague from heaven, not hell'.
46. Repeat to yourself 'Work is part of my life. It's not
who I am."
47. Add some colour and pictures to the most functional
document you create today.
48. Count your blessings - challenge yourself to acknowledge
10 things that you are really grateful for in your life.
Think about how you could turn the volume up on each of
them. If it is someone you love - could you tell them? If
it is an experience you like, could you make time in your
life to do more of it? If it is just something you walked
past and liked the look of, like a sunrise, or a flower
- could you slow down and take more of it in? It's sure
to put you in a good mood.
49. Bring the kids with you to the office - they'll love
50. Wear whatever you feel like when you look out of the
And a few bonus ones…
51. Bring your pet with you, if appropriate.
52. Connect with everyone you meet in a deep and meaningful
53. Be willing to be seen as YOU.
54. Tell your colleagues about one of your pastimes that
you are really passionate about.
55. Fix your working hours to suit your lifestyle just for
56. For today - do whatever it takes to have fun at work.
57. Spend the day being really curious about your colleagues
and who they are being at work today.
58. Snuggle up for an afternoon nap in a lovely soft blanket,
and let people know you are doing it - be careful they may
want to join you!
59. If you've got an instant or digital camera - take pictures
of people bringing themselves to work and put them on the
60. Get to know 4 new people at work
61. Wear that special accessory - especially one that conveys
something about you, or one that will break the ice and
start a conversation going..
62. As an ice breaker at a meeting, play “Two
lies and a truth”, ie each person takes a turn to
share three unlikely sounding “facts” about
themself, then the others at the meeting guess which is
the true fact. The original person reveals the true fact
and everyone knows if they guessed correctly.
63. Recommend the most important book you have
read which you feel others would benefit from.
64. Read an inspirational poem.
65. Ask people if they are emotional at home but
logical at work (if they say purely logical at work, ask
them how they really make decisions…).
66. Take a step you’ve been procrastinating
over for some time.
67. Ask someone for help or to become a mentor
68. Give someone some valuable feedback.
69. Take into the office the mug with your favourite
Send us any suggestions you may have to make the
list the top 100!