Virtual Vacation: Boost Morale and Pretend it's Summer in your Office
Every company wants to start off the New Year strong, but there’s just one problem: when the holidays are over, the winter blues set in. The next thing we have to look forward to is the summer warmth, and that’s still months away.
Pretending it’s summer in your office can boost morale by offering a change of pace, getting people excited, and serving as a reward or incentive for a good first quarter. People tend to be happier when their minds are on vacation, but why wait until June for that?
Here are a few ways to bring the island to your office.
Have an Island-Themed Office Lunch
Fire up the blender! It’s time for some virgin pina coladas and catering from the local Jamaican place. Treat your office to a nice long lunch with good tropical or warm-weather foods, like jerk chicken or barbecue, and it’ll really lift the spirits of all who have the winter blues.
Change Up the Office Radio
We’ve had enough of ‘Blue Christmas,’ it’s time for something more upbeat. Put on the Jimmy Buffet Pandora station or open up a suggestion box where your employees can let you know what songs put them in a warm, summery mood.
Brighten Up the Décor
Do you still have the Christmas tree up in the lobby? If so, you’re definitely not helping get rid of the feeling that the best part of the year is over. Remind your employees that the best is yet to come – incorporate a new beach scene painting into your office décor, or have a desk decoration contest (bonus points if the winner gets an extra vacation day).
Bring Some Life to Casual Friday
Ugly sweater season is dead and gone, but themed casual days don’t have to be. Try encouraging people to wear their most outrageous Hawaiian shirts for casual Friday, and then nominate a photographer to snag some shots for the office newsletter. Not only does it get everyone in a sunnier mood, it also creates a more laid-back environment and a better employee bond, which is great for facilitating teamwork.
Don’t Be a Grinch
When you’re in charge of an office, you really have to pick your battles if you want to maximize productivity. If you’re having particularly bad weather, or a lot of the local schools have snow days, allow your employees to work from home if at all possible. It’s better than having a bunch of unexpected call-outs, and plus – productivity is extremely low on bad-weather days when people have to come to work against their will.