February 12th, 2018
After the build-up and excitement of the festive season, it’s no surprise that January and February are considered among the most miserable times of year. In fact, there’s a day which has been named ‘Blue Monday’ which is usually the third Monday of January and is officially the most depressing day of the year.
To help combat the effects of grey skies, a lack of motivation and festive over-indulgence, we’ve put together some ideas to put the spark back into the winter months by injecting some fun into your business culture.
Bring a Pet into the Office
According to numerous pieces of research, allowing members of staff to bring their dogs into work has been proven to increase wellbeing and in some cases productivity. The main benefits of dogs in the workplace have been cited as lower stress levels, heart rate and blood pressure.
Employees who bring their dogs to work have described it as a comforting experience, with those who spend long periods of time working alone feeling less isolated or lonely. People are often perceived as more friendly and approachable if a dog is present in an office. An animal’s presence can also often lead to increased socialisation with team members who would ordinarily have little to do with one another.
Having dogs in the workplace also encourages their owners and other staff members to take regular breaks from their work and get outside in the fresh air. Basepoint is a dog-friendly organisation and many people bring their pets into our centres every day.
Taking Time to Socialise
If your office is big enough, consider designating an area for employees to relax and enjoy a complete break from their usual work. If you have a small office within one of our business centres, staff can get away from their desk to enjoy a coffee and a chat in the breakout area.
You could allow staff to use games consoles or board games can during a break, and they don’t have to be new, as you could buy second hand or encourage employees to bring them in from home. Similarly, having a wall or pin board where people can post funny photos or jokes they want to share often works well.
An alternative idea for socialising is to organise a fun get-together for employees. This could be over lunch, a drink after work, pool or ping pong, a team-building activity such as bowling, high wires or something more tactical such as an escape room.
Redecorate or Encourage Staff to Personalise their Workspace
Feeling comfortable in your surroundings helps people to feel happy and motivated. Why not allow your staff to have some fun with their individual workspace? You could even have a competition for the best one. If you want to implement this philosophy on a wider scale, you could redecorate your office with some fun colours or hang some new artwork on the walls. Requesting involvement from employees is a great way to include them in decision-making and they might even offer to pitch in and help with the work.
Supply Drinks and Snacks
Most offices supply tea or coffee-making facilities. You could also install a fridge with a selection of drinks and snacks which employees have asked for. Another idea is to provide a range of breakfast items to make sure your employees get that much needed healthy start to the day – it may even encourage them to arrive early and help to increase socialisation.
Another idea centred around food could be ordering a take away pizza or bringing in food to share from time to time. This could be for a working lunch or something to simply encourage a casual get together where you can all catch up.
Change the Format of Meetings
Changing the format for meetings by making them shorter and more targeted can really help. Whilst some meetings will need to be held in a traditional meeting room with good facilities, others may be more suited to informal spaces such as a breakout area/coffee shop or using casual seating such as bean bags.
Meetings could be moved towards the end of the day and be combined with a more social aspect, such as a beer or a bite to eat after work. For smaller one-to-one meetings, why not organise walk and talk meeting. This is a great opportunity to reduce stress levels and get those endorphins going by combining your meetings with a stroll in the great outdoors.
Set a Fun Challenge
Why not set a monthly challenge for employees? It doesn’t have to cost anything and could boost morale. Think of ideas such as a bake-off competition, who can wear the silliest pair of socks or something more retro such as a bean bag or egg and spoon race. The options are endless, and employees will love inputting their ideas. You could even generate a league table for those that take part, offering prize for the overall winner at the end of the year.
Let’s face it, people spend more waking time at work than they do at home, so making your office a fun place to work is a must. Not only will your fun-centric culture help to retain your staff, but it will ultimately help to increase productivity and customer satisfaction.
Basepoint has affordable office centres in over 30 locations across the country, including Crawley, Southampton, Swindon and a new centre in Broxbourne. All have breakout areas with comfortable seating, vending machines and coffee and tea making facilities, and arrange many networking events where staff can meet socially. In addition to benefiting from a unique workspace which is fully supported with the latest technology, you will be able to use from our flexible terms of contract, allowing you to move in or leave at short notice.