Six easy ways to improve morale and beat the back to work blues

Motivation and fun

20 January 2017

January can be a challenging month. Heading back to work after a fun holiday break can be tough enough, but bad weather, Christmas costs and New Year’s resolutions can all combine to drain your drive.

Whether you’re a sole trader or a small business needing to galvanise your employees, there are plenty of ways to beat the blues and get 2017 off to a positive start. 

Celebrate achievements

Targets and resolutions are great for motivation, especially if the rewards are tangible. Incentives like cash bonuses or prizes can help drive change, and recognition like praise for a job well done or awards like ‘Employee of the Month’ are even more important to make employees feel valued and work seem worthwhile. 

Inspire change

Supporting good causes is a great way to encourage success. It’s easier than ever to sign up to charity events like the Cancer Research UK Dryathlon, and if you work together as a business you’ll also boost team spirit and your reputation. 

Cut your hours

With a busy year ahead, it can be tempting to pile on the pressure to work extra hard. However, studies show that working long hours actually reduces productivity – so be careful not to overdo it.

Take a break

Make sure everyone takes a decent lunch break away from their desk or work station. Getting a bit of sunlight during the day can help stave off things like Seasonal Affected Disorder (SAD), a form of seasonal depression. Encouraging habits such as mindfulness and relaxation exercises during the break can cut stress and help you enjoy the present. 

Improve your environment

Studies show that adding just a few plants to a workplace can boost productivity by 15%, and make everyone feel more relaxed. You could also encourage collaboration, communication and team spirit by having all of your team grow sunflowers, then give prizes for the best blooms. 

Try some treats

January doesn’t have to be about cutting back and slimming down. Bring back some of the festive fun with workplace treats like pizza on Fridays or doughnuts on Mondays. Even keeping a regularly re-stocked fruit bowl can help. One study found that providing free snacks boosts the percentage of satisfied employees from 56% to 67%.