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January Doesn’t Have To Be Blue

Emily Wells

January is often the bluest month of them all as everyone’s in a post-Christmas funk and eagerly looking forward to pay day. But it doesn’t have to be like this! In fact January brings those frosty starts to the day, that cosy feeling you get when it’s dark and cold outside, and a warm and toasty office. Contributor Emily Wells – Business Development Manager – CBS Office Interiors.

If your team is feeling a bit blue this January there are things you can do. There are lots of ways to increase motivation levels, bring some sunshine into the office, and even help staff succeed in their New Year resolutions. Here are a few ideas:

Turn meeting rooms into exercise studios
One way to increase motivation levels is to also increase activity by encouraging movement around the workplace. You could set targets for staff such as number of steps they accrue throughout the day, and incentivise them to be more active.

Many of our clients benefit from multi-functional room design, which allows for a space to be set up in a variety of ways. For example, a meeting room with hidden storage for tables and chairs can be cleared to provide a space for yoga. Lighting can be used to create the right ambience for a class, and then switched back to meeting room mode once the session has finished. Poll your team to see what types of exercise class they would like to join in. Yoga is popular as it offers physical exercise and meditation in one class.

Stock up on healthy snacks
Now that the Christmas chocolate selection box has been finished, it’s time to focus on health and wellbeing and how your company can support staff in getting fit, losing weight and feeling better. All of this will have a positive impact on the workplace, boosting motivation and happiness levels.

A great way to help staff succeed in their New Year Resolutions is to provide healthy snacks like free fruit, so that chocolate bars and high-fat convenience food don’t tempt them. You could also get a clean food company to prepare a staff lunch, both providing healthy nourishment and also a great social activity.

Over the last few years CBS Office Interiors have designed several breakout areas that feature long, communal tables for staff meals. They’re multi-functional too as they can also be used as a hot-desking space, which is also a great social and collaborative way to work.

Reconnect with the natural world
It may be a little cold and wet to commune with nature in January, but we can bring nature into our offices and benefit from biophilic design. Research suggests there are fantastic health and wellbeing benefits to be had such as lowering stress and reducing high blood pressure; biophilic design can also increase creativity, productivity and happiness.

Biophilic design includes a wide range of different elements such as introducing natural materials, textures and colours into the workplace, maximising natural light and improving air quality, as well as reducing toxin levels. While the office pot plant is a feature of many workplaces, a living wall in the office would be even better!

Wet or dry, make January fun
Are you doing Dry January? What about having a team effort and help each other succeed in this goal? It’s not too late to gamify the challenge by raising money for a charity or rewarding staff for giving up. Make it fun so it doesn’t feel like a chore, after all it’s only 31 days. If you’ve already fallen off the wagon then another way to make January fun is a night out at the pub.

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