CoPassion - Compassion in work community


CoPassion (= Company & Compassion) researched and developed the great power of compassion in working life. Compassion is about taking on the feelings and needs of others and acting on behalf of others. At its best, compassion is also co-passion; living with the joys and excitements of others.

CoPassion brought together a multidisciplinary team of researchers. Researchers studied the effects of compassion on the well-being of work communities and developed ways to increase compassion in working life.

The passion of the research was to change working life so that humanity and productivity would flourish in the same workplaces. CoPassion made an effort from the Faculty of Theology of the University of Helsinki and our work is financed by Creddo and Oiva laina. Numerous business partners expressed sympathy for the study.

Thanks to everyone involved!


Compassion is a deep source of experience that matters to both the giver, the recipient, and the side follower. The experience of doing good and getting good makes life worth living.

Compassion is a series of overlapping events in human interaction. Empathy is an important element of compassion: one must notice the joy or suffering of the other and be able to position oneself. Empathy is complemented by motivation to do good, direction towards the other’s best. However, the most important moment of compassion is when compassion becomes visible as an action. Without action, compassion is not compassion.

Co-passion (empathy)

Compassion has long been defined in studies to alleviate another's suffering. According to the study, compassion is equally part of co-passion, the sharing of another enthusiasm. Co-passion is a twin of compassion, it consists of the same elements as compassion; the ability to notice another person’s emotional state as well as actions to express compassion. For example, making another success visible in the work community by giving recognition can be a co-passion.

Compassion and empathy in work community

Compassion has the power to revolutionize relationships and communities: in working life, compassion accelerates not only the experience of relevance but also co-workers' social relationships, innovation, cognitive performance, well-being at work, and good customer relationships. The value of compliance is also invaluable: what if your success is not noticed in the work community in any way? Wouldn’t it be crushing if no one rejoiced with you?

Below are tips for building a better work community:



  1. Be available. Ask and offer help. It is especially important for the manager to keep the door open figuratively and literally.
  2. Meet your colleagues. When you know your colleague, you know how to respond to your colleague’s need for help in a way that suits him or her. You never know everything else, so ask and listen humbly.
  3. Keep yourself up to date. During an emotional turmoil, stop to think about your own motives: why do you act the same way you act? Authenticity is important, even confusion can be shared.
  4. Dare to act. Dare to try deeds of compassion and compassion. Challenge yourself to do things with compassion, even if you're not sure if you know or want to.
  5. Take your time. Remember Time Management, Rest, Limits, and Compassion for Yourself. If you're fine, it's easier to give.


As a recipient

  1. Show your suffering - and enthusiasm! A prerequisite for the emergence of compassion and enthusiasm is that someone makes their suffering and enthusiasm visible to others. It is impossible to react to the invisible.
  2. Receive help. Trust us, the Provider may not have any ulterior motives.
  3. Be honest and keep your limits. The good deeds of a helper may seem wrong to you. Say it out loud. No one has the right to decide what you need.
  4. Don't be afraid of the weak stamp. Our ability to help and get help has been at the core of humanity’s success in evolution. Why should it be a sign of weakness in modern working life?
  5. The donor is no better than the recipient. Compassion and enthusiasm are at their best when they arise from the idea of ​​an equal humanity: we have something in common - that’s why we share our own. The roles of giver and recipient should not be positions of power or the demonstration of supremacy, but living situations of living interaction.


As a work community

  1. Make authenticity the general norm. The wing of compassion and enthusiasm is a work culture that allows for existence as a whole, not just as a time resource for performing work tasks. However, authenticity does not mean an uncontrollable spill of emotions.
  2. Decide things as a community. Codecision strengthens social relations in the workplace. For example, the involvement of the work community in recruitment decisions helps to recruit new suitable employees also as a social community.
  3. Show appreciation. Show words and deeds about each other’s accomplishments, small and large. This is especially important for a culture of compassion.
  4. Celebrate and have fun together. The focus of the act is at work, but humor is an opportunity at a distance from awkward things. Remembering a colleague’s anniversary or important life event tells us that the joys of privacy are also valued in the workplace and good deeds are done for everyone.
  5. Please work around the issues. Bring problems to the table as they arise so you can learn from them and move on. Overcoming problems and betraying others by reminding you of failures effectively destroys the conditions for compassion and happiness.


Tips are based on research findings and sources below:

Lilius et al. (2011) Understanding Compassion Capability

Lilius et al. (2008) The Contours and Consequences of Compassion at Work

Dutton et al. (2014) Compassion at work