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It’s mid-January. The weather is wet and cold. The days are shorter. It’s cold and flu. Employers and employees both find themselves struggling to stay productive through this dreary time of year. After the rush and business of holiday celebrations, it is not uncommon to acutely feel the winter blues or Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD). Below we provide some ideas for both employers and employees to break out of the slow march to spring.

Team Building

Employers should take advantage of this socially slower time of the year. Providing your team with team building opportunities is a great way shake up the hum drum of this time of year.[1] Schedule some activities that require your team to get up and move. If you can, try and have your team take in some sunlight and fresh air. Perhaps encourage your team to break into small groups and take daily ten-minute walk outside of the office together.

Encouraging Healthy Choices

Another step which employers can take is providing their employees with healthier snack options.[2] Not only are fruits and juices a refreshing change after the carb and sugar loaded holiday, but it also encourages your employees to get up and move around every now and then with a brisk walk to the kitchen or snacks area. Reward work achievements or goals with a personalized water bottle to encourage your team to drink more water. Staying hydrated can greatly improve your team’s energy and focus. Provide different types of tea to your employees also have a warm and healthy drink option.

Professional Goals

Encourage your team to set professional goals.[3] Are there certifications you team needs to renew? Are there continuing education credit which need to be earned? Best to tackle these types of issues at the start of the year rather than leaving it all for the end of the year crunch. Even if this just means finding out the dates and information in order to schedule it for later in the year. Speaking of schedules, encourage your team to find a schedule that works for them during these short days.[4] Exercise before work can make a big difference in energy levels throughout the day. Setting small goals can be productive as well.[5] Encourage your employees to organize and clean their desks with the start of the new year.

Getting over the winter blues at work can be difficult, but encourage healthy choices, movement, and goals can go a long way to provide your team with that extra spark.

[1] https://www.monster.com/career-advice/article/beat-the-winter-blues-at-work-hot-jobs

[2] http://www.andrewjensen.net/tips-for-overcoming-winter-blues-at-work/

[3] https://www.monster.com/career-advice/article/beat-the-winter-blues-at-work-hot-jobs

[4] http://www.forbes.com/sites/quora/2016/11/30/8-ways-to-fight-seasonal-depression/#5be294206b2c

[5] http://www.businessinsider.com/6-ways-to-shake-off-the-winter-blues-at-work-2013-1

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