This article was written in collaboration with Instant Offices
Some say that January is the ‘Monday of the months’. And today – January 15th, or so-called ‘Blue Monday’ – is said to be the worst of them all.
According to a recent report by Instant Offices, it’s the cold, dark, and dreary weather throughout January that tends to de-motivate workers the most. Part of this is due to excessive spending and overindulging over the holiday season, which can raise tension, stress levels, and blood pressure.
Flexible workspace operators are constantly seeking ways to improve the workplace experience, and many might find that maintaining the right atmosphere during the winter months can be especially challenging.
Instant Offices reported that, “NHS estimates that one in 15 Britons experience some sort of ‘January blues’, or seasonal affective disorder (SAD) between September and April – a type of depression that is caused by a lack of exposure to sunlight during the darker winter months, although cold temperatures and weak daylight also contribute to this melancholic state.”
This constant state of ‘unhappiness’ can lead to fatigue, anxiety, and even depression, all of which can greatly affect one’s performance and overall state of wellbeing. And while we humans cannot change the weather, there are several things that workspace operators and managers can do to boost member productivity, morale, and the overall workplace experience.
Make Your Workspace Warmer
Literally and metaphorically speaking. Research suggests that keeping your workspace temperature at 21 degrees Celsius is ideal for optimal results. Adding additional lighting and colours can also do wonders to boost the mood of your workers. You might also consider providing healthy snacks and warm beverages for your staff and members, as eating the right foods can nourish both mind and body.
Help Members De-Stress
Fatigue, unhappiness, and depression can leave individuals more prone to irritability and stress. Whether it’s hearing someone talk loudly on the phone, hearing someone chew their food, hearing someone sniffing or sneezing, or simply knocking over a glass of water — these situations can escalate quickly. To help members de-stress, consider hosting group lunches, encourage people to eat away from their workstations, or offer complimentary yoga classes or short guided meditations.
The goal here is to provide and create an environment that helps people feel relaxed, inspired, and productive. Sometimes a simple smile can also do the trick.
Beat the Winter blues (or should we say ‘greys’) by adding some green life to your workspace. Office plants provide great benefits year-round, however during the winter time seeing green life indoors can help boost people’s moods; especially those affected by Seasonal Affective Disorder. Natural views have been associated with psychological benefits, especially reducing stress levels.
You can find 13 additional ideas for creating a cozier winter workplace here.