Back to Work Initiatives to Beat the January Blues
Christmas is over for another year, and for many people it marks the end of relaxation and the beginning of back to work madness. With a pile of paperwork to return to, alongside the grim weather and limited daylight, it’s no wonder a lot of us suffer from the January blues.
But it doesn’t have to be that way. Whilst returning to work after any extended period away can feel daunting, there are wellbeing initiatives that employers can adopt to make things a little easier for their staff.
Avoid any big meetings or scheduled work during the first few days after Christmas. Staff will inevitably feel a little out of loop when returning to work, so giving them a few days to get into the swing of things will be a huge relief. It allows team members to reduce the email inbox, catch up with coworkers and, most importantly, settle back into their work routine without the added pressure.
Encourage communication – and a bit of quiet time
It’s well documented that the winter blues – medically known as Seasonal Affective Disorder – can cause people to feel a lack of energy or interest in everyday tasks. Whilst it can affect some people more than others, it’s important for employers to recognise that extra support may be needed throughout the winter months. Encouraging open communication and a supportive office culture will have huge benefits for raising morale and staff wellbeing, and this applies all year round too.
It’s also key for employers to understand the need for a little quiet time too. A recent study showed that almost 50% of people felt their working environment didn’t support mindfulness or focus, so the need for dedicated quiet and calm areas in the office is vital.
“Back to work” week
Go one step further and organise “back to work” initiatives throughout the first week of January. Staff will likely feel sluggish after the indulgences over Christmas and lack of sunlight, but promoting a positive start to the new year will help them feel re-energised. Simple steps such as providing fresh fruit to encourage healthy eating, or organising a “welcome back” lunch to get teams away from the desk, will help staff become reacquainted with their work.
Download our free advice guides to improve employee engagement