The winter months, after Christmas, are bad enough, but when you find yourself spending the majority of daylight hours working in an office, it can feel like you are living in perpetual darkness. You go to work in the dark and return home in the dark, with just a little glimpse of natural light through the windows, or on your lunch break. It can leave you feeling tired, depressed, and create a sombre mood in the office. Here are some ways you, and your colleagues, can fight the winter blues in your workplace.
Bring the outdoors inside
Furnishing your office with some plants will help to not only make the place look better and brighter, but will lift the mood of yourself and your colleagues. Plants provide oxygen and cleaner air, which will make you all feel better, and can even decrease tiredness. You could each bring a plant into work and have a competition to see who can keep theirs alive and flourishing for the longest time. Have a bit of variety and each own a different plant, so you know which one belongs to each of you.
Enjoy a shared lunch
Instead of eating your salad or sandwich at your desk for the third day in a row, try to organise a shared office lunch. It will provide a break in the day, and give you all something to look forward to. Escaping to a restaurant of cafe for an hour will be a real treat. If you can’t leave the office, then order some delicious sandwiches in, and take an hour out of your day to bond with your colleagues and discuss non-work matters. You could even try taking turns to cook something up at home, and reheat it at the office for a more substantial meal. You might even be able to introduce your fellow colleagues to a new cuisine. Make it a regular thing, and even carry it on after the winter months have passed.
Sitting at your desk all day will not only affect your health, but will also affect your mood. Getting some exercise during the day will help your concentration levels, and give you some much needed energy. You don’t have to endure the cold, wet weather for this, and it doesn’t have to be boring either. Try to organise a group exercise session, even if it’s just for 20 minutes a day. You can try an energetic workout video, or just have a dance around the office. Take it in turns to lead the session, and try to come up with inventive ways to get you all active. Anything that gets you up and moving will help to contribute to a better mood and atmosphere within the office.
Do a good deed
Charities are always crying out for help with both fundraising and volunteering. Make yourself and your colleagues feel better during the winter months by offering to help. Assisting others will benefit your own mental wellbeing, as you will feel good about helping, and it will give you something to focus on and look forward to. Volunteering for a charity will get you all moving and out of the office. However, if you aren’t able to do this, then raise some money for charity instead. You can all take part in a sponsored event, or try and contact local companies for donations to arrange a public auction. Anything you can do, no matter how little, will make you feel better, and will help the charities you support.
Invest in a light therapy box
Seasonal Affective Disorder, or SAD, affects many people in the UK. The winter months see your exposure to natural light greatly diminished, and affects the mood and mental wellbeing of plenty of workers. A light therapy box can help to replicate natural light within your office, and this in turn will brighten your mood and reduce any SAD symptoms you may be experiencing. See if your company will purchase one for the whole office, or will place one in a meeting room, where people can work from for certain periods during the day. Explain that it will help with productivity in your office, so is a wise investment. If they won’t supply one, your colleagues may join forces with you to obtain one that will benefit you all.
Those are just a few of the ways you can help to avoid the winter blues in your workplace. Try to do whatever you can to brighten up your office and make it a more pleasant place to work. Having a positive attitude will rub off on every one else, and will create a better atmosphere. Spring is just around the corner, and brighter days are ahead.