How to Avoid Winter Blues at the Office

Team of bored employees sitting around a conference table

Winter can be a challenging time of the year, especially for those of us who endure cold temperatures and snowy weather during the long winter months. It’s not uncommon for people to suffer from what some refer to as ‘the winter blues.’

While these seasonal blues can impact our personal lives, they can also powerfully impact life at the office. Given that we spend a huge portion of our time at work, this is not especially surprising.

Bringing a bunch of employees suffering from the winter blues together on a daily basis can cause morale at the office to spiral downwards, bringing productivity and efficiency with it.

The bad news is we can’t change the seasons. In our location, harsh winters are inevitable.

The good news, however, is that there are a number of easy things you can do to combat the winter blues and minimize their impact on your employees and your business.

Combating the Winter Blues at Work

Wondering what you can do to help your employees and coworkers stave off the winter blues at work? Here are a few tips and strategies for fighting winter blues at the office.

Coordinate Winter Office Outings

Seasonal office outings can be a great way to give your team members something to look forward during the long, cold winter. Coordinate a cross country or downhill skiing outing, a snowshoeing adventure, an evening at the local ice rink, an afternoon of sledding at a nearby hill – the possibilities are endless.

These types of outings can be a lot of fun, but they’re also a great way to enhance your company culture. They can serve as morale boosters and team building activities that benefit your business in the end.

Host In-Office Activities

Adding some extras to life at work can be a great way to combat the monotony of winter. In-office activities like happy hours, company lunches, meditation breaks, and hosting a fundraiser for a local charity – just to name a few ideas – can help to make life at the office a little bit more exciting, and can help to keep employee spirits up.

Offer the Option to Work Remotely

Getting to work in the winter can really put a damper on things. From brushing off the car before the sun has come up to contending with traffic in whiteout conditions and looking for parking in unplowed parking lots, it’s a wonder that anyone has a remotely positive attitude at work after commuting in the winter.

If possible, offer employees the option to work from home when it’s more convenient during the winter. Sometimes removing the added stress of finding a way to make it into the office is enough to completely change the course of someone’s day – and that can make a huge difference when it comes to productivity and efficiency for your business.

Embrace Winter at Work

Sometimes fully embracing winter is the best way to fight off the blues that often come along with the cold, snowy months. Advocate for flannel Fridays, add hot chocolate to the office beverage line up for the winter, organize a chili-cook off – try to think outside the box to introduce some new fun-filled winter traditions in the office.

While some people will still be crotchety during the winter months, others will enjoy these traditions and learn to look forward to them during the winter. Even small winter perks like these can go a long way when it comes to improving office morale!

Shorten Winter Work Days

With shorter days during the winter, it can feel like you never see the light of day during the week. Shortening winter work days is one way to help employee get through the winter with a more positive outlook and a better work-life balance.

Whether you offer an abbreviated schedule only on occasion, shorten days only on Fridays, or give employees floating abbreviated days they can use at any point during the winter, this small incentive can make a big impact when it comes to combating the winter blues.

Beat the Winter Blues at Work This Year!

Don’t let the winter blues take your company and your employees down. All it takes is a little bit of initiative and creativity and you can change the way your office handles winter.

Looking for other great ways to improve employee morale during winter and year round? Check out the following resources to learn about other ways you can enhance life at work for your employees and coworkers:

Avoiding Sickness at the Office: Healthy employees are happier employees! Read our 10 tips for preventing the spread of germs in the workplace during the winter.

Tips for Improving Your Office Environment: Learn about 7 straightforward ways employees can make workspaces more comfortable and inviting, improving your work life along the way.

Creating a Healthier Office Workspace: Find out how to take existing workspaces and make them healthier so you and your team can feel better at work.