When you’re up and out of the house before sunrise, and you’ve just been splashed by a car driving through a puddle (deliberately) for the umpteenth time on your way to the office, it can be hard to remind yourself to stay positive during the cold winter months.
Whether you have a real case of SAD (seasonal affective disorder), or just struggle to get yourself motivated for the day ahead when it’s grey and dark outside, we have some top tips on how to boost team morale in the office during the winter months.
Deck the halls
Don’t be afraid to go all out for special occasions and events across autumn and winter – Halloween, Bonfire Night and Christmas all require their own decorations, so get decorating! Not only does it get people in the party spirit but changes the look and feel of the office, providing a positive change of scenery that can benefit a person’s state of mind.
Buckets of tea
Stock up on teas and coffee for everyone and remember to offer to make a round of hot drinks on the regular. ‘Who wants a cuppa?’ is an easy way to put smiles on faces. No one wants to be the co-worker who slacks on beverage duty, it’s just not cool.
In your best light
Make sure the office has plenty of natural light, so don’t obscure windows with furniture and always open blinds where possible. The layout of the office space is also important, as having sight of a window and natural light is better than facing a wall, and it’s much better for our wellbeing.
Warm the cockles
It’s obvious, but a toasty office is more welcoming than a drafty one, so don’t forget to pop the heating on ready for a morning start – but be prepared for a few squabbles about who wants to crack open the windows when it starts to feel perhaps a bit too warm towards the afternoon.
Grow your own
A simple way to brighten up the workplace with minimal effort is to introduce some office plants. Studies show that being close to nature has a positive impact on people’s general wellbeing, so bringing a slice of that to an indoor office can have an effect on productivity. Plants are also very good cleaners – many indoor varieties absorb harmful toxins and pollutants from the air and replace them with oxygen, making the office a fresher environment for all.
Boosting morale is always helped by team events – an adrenaline-fuelled team day out might not be what you had in mind – but smaller events, such as a charity bake sale, Christmas Jumper Day or Secret Santa are fun ways to get people involved as a team in the midst of winter.
Get home safe
Consider putting practices in place for ensuring that co-workers get home safely, particularly in bad, icy weather. Hi-vis jackets for those who walk or cycle will help to make sure they stay safe out and about. Show your concern for your fellow office workers by checking they arrived home safely – a quick message takes no time but makes a person feel special at the end of a long day.
Somewhere to chill
When it’s raining for the fourth day in a row, it’s difficult to muster up the energy to take a proper lunch break and go and get your tuna sarnie from the local shop. Having a separate area in the office – kitchen space, a table, even just a sofa – provides people with somewhere to sit away from their desks and screens, without having to brave the cold outside.
Although it may not be nice arriving to work and leaving in the dark, it’s important to have a comfortable, relaxed office space (complete with a few little perks), that will brighten up your day.