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November 28, 2017 | 5 min read
You’re all too familiar with the December Slump.
You’ve come back from the Thanksgiving break. You’re looking forward to Christmas vacation. And in this 3-week lull, you’ve got a pile of your usual work to complete, made all the more urgent due to the holiday deadlines.
They chilly gloom of winter doesn’t do anything to improve your mood.
Why the long face?
The root of the Slump is boredom with your surroundings. This happens because:
How can we prevent these 3 weeks from going to waste? How can you engage your office team, so that they don’t slip into boredom and unproductivity?
Stimulation is key.
Your goal is combating the normal by introducing new, unusual elements to the workplace.
Learning is the best way to stave off boredom. Encourage active work breaks by bringing new perspectives into the office.
Rinat Sherzer and Hannah Phang lead a perspective-twisting workshopwhich will leave your office team feeling energized by a new sense of purpose.
They lead you through a problem-solving methodology called “Design Thinking” and explain how to reframe challenges into opportunities.
You’ll start seeing your “normal” routine in a totally unexpected way!
But don’t give your team the same magazine! Disperse three different subscriptions evenly among your team. Your team can swap subscriptions, talk about their favorite articles, and spread the knowledge on their own.
How to do it:
Subscribe each employee to one of the three magazines. These issues will be delivered to their home addresses.
Then, place issues of the same magazines in common office areas. This way, your team will be encouraged both at home and at the office to read!
If you’re bored with your surroundings, change them! Your team probably take the office “look” for granted. Reshuffling the status quo jolts your brain, encouraging them to observe their workspace with fresh eyes.
Winter is winter because of its lack of greenery. That’s why Christmas trees exist, after all! But as humans, we’re made for nature, and too much time inside artificial environments depresses us.
So bring the outdoors indoors! Studies show that plants stimulate your senses, reduce stress, improve your mood…we could go on.
And we’re not talking about artificial plants — spring for the real thing.
Give each of your employees a small potted plant as a gift. Make 2 conditions:
You’ll probably end up with fun plants in surprising places! Your team will enjoy taking creative liberty in the office, and watering the plants creates a small routine change, which forces your team to engage.
We recommend giving out succulents (You can buy them for less than $2 a piece on Amazon). They’re super tidy and easy to keep alive, even for the palest of green thumbs.
Most of our employees don’t think twice about the established office arrangement. Rearranging the furniture will produce a pleasant shock to the system and will encourage them to take fresh stock of their surroundings.
It’s also SO simple to do: rearranging your break room takes only a few minutes!
Treat your office to a goofy activity! Doing something playful gives your routine a good shake-up.
Our favorite December childhood throwback is:
Order a bunch of gingerbread house kits from BB&B, and throw a gingerbread happy hour! Your team can work on their own or in pairs. These kits include everything, and you can add your favorite office candy to the mix too!
Everyone loves a good note, and a letter of appreciation from a position of authority is a great source of motivation for employees.
You don’t have to do it all yourself — delegate to those team leaders who know their people the best.
Each note should address the recipient as a person as well as a worker, and should express 2 main ideas:
For instance: “Hannah, I’m so impressed by the way you’re tackling your new project. Your boldness is inspiring and you’re a joy to work with!”
Try out a few of these boredom-combating techniques, and tell us how your office team responds!