For some, winter is the most dreaded season of the year. The roads are terrible, sunlight is practically nonexistent and wearing layers at work may not stop your hands from shaking on the keyboard. However, there are ways to help employees who are both freezing at work and mentally ice cold. Working in the winter isn’t so bad when you have the right mindset and a handful of ideas up your sleeve to keep the office morale high.
Add Plants to the Office
Incorporating plants and flowers into your office are great ways to add color and energy into your workspace. Caring for your plants is a way to stay busy and take a healthy break from work when need be. Witnessing the progress and growth of a plant can be a huge morale boost – especially when you’re feeling sluggish over the winter. When you feel as if your workload isn’t lessening, watching a plant thrive can spark positive energy when working in winter.
Make a Coffee or Hot Cocoa Bar
Who doesn’t enjoy a hot beverage in the wintertime? If your office has kitchen space, set up a self-serve coffee or hot chocolate bar for your staff! This won’t only bring joy to those who take part, it can also be a winter team building opportunity. Next to the bowl of marshmallows or line-up of fun coffee creamers, add activity sheets or even a cookie decorating space. Hot cocoa or coffee, and a delicious pastry can help your employees make the most of working in the winter.
Schedule a Potluck
Food warms the soul—especially when you’re freezing at work. Many offices schedule staff lunches or outings, but a way to improve morale in the office could be a potluck. Even better: a themed potluck. This doesn’t have to be anything over-the-top. It can be something as simple as employees bringing in a dip or appetizer for January and signing up for a “Chili Cook Off” in February. However you bring your staff together, a winter team building activity always goes well with food.
What do the “Big Name Companies” Do?
You may be wondering how recognized companies improve morale when their employees are working in the winter? Even if your business doesn’t have quite as much money to spend as Google or Yahoo!, let their ideas inspire you.
Google’s headquarters are known as a campus for very legitimate reasons. They focus on fun and a stress-free environment—especially during the winter—by having video games, table-top games and even a gym available to their employees. This way, their staff can choose which stress-reliever is best for them during their breaks so when they return, they are focused and ready to go.
One way to feel more comfortable when working in the winter is to spend less money. Yahoo! knows that some financial freedom can often lead to higher morale and productivity. Therefore, Yahoo! offers to pay for phone bills, laptops, parties and food in exchange for positive morale and happier employees.