We’re approaching the 16 most unproductive days of the year. Studies show that between December 18th and January 2nd productivity plummets. Which is actually not surprising, people are busy with the holidays and are taking time off. But what about the days leading up to December 18th? How can facilities managers and workplace managers keep everything running smoothly up until the New Year?
Once the snow falls, or the colder temperatures make their appearance, we begin to enter the 16 most unproductive days of the year. These, not surprisingly, happen to be the last 16 days of the year. Even though there are holidays sprinkled throughout, companies can still get things done in the days leading towards the new year. Here are a few ideas to help keep you and your office productive this winter season.
Take Care of Yourself
This is the one time of year where people tend to get less exercise, get less sleep and eat more unhealthy foods. To keep your mind sharp, you must first take care of your body. Try getting more sleep, not less, even if its just 30 extra minutes per night. If a full workout just isn’t going to happen, try walking on your lunch break to your favorite sandwich shop. It can be a tricky time with holiday potlucks and cookie exchanges. Treat yourself to your absolute favorites, but don’t gorge just because it’s the holidays and everyone else is.
Keep Your Office Lit
Seasonal affective disorder is a very real thing, especially for northern states. Without natural sunlight, people can go into a mental winter slump as their biological clock setting is disrupted. Workers will often seem tired all the time or have trouble focusing. To help combat these symptoms, be sure your office lights are working, and opt for the “natural look” soft light bulbs over fluorescent if you can. Also, having plants in the office really makes a difference. They clean the air for you and brighten up an otherwise dark space.
Offer Team Building Activities
Need some inspiration on getting your team to work together when everyone's minds are full of sugar plums? Take a look at our blog on team-building and stress relieving group activities you can do at your office.
Don’t Bring Work Home and Vise Versa
As tempting as it may be, this is the time to leave work and work and leave home at home. It’s easy to think you can run off to do holiday shopping during your lunch break, but you really should take that time to actually eat a lunch and take a break. You also may think you’re getting more done by working after dinner, but try to relax and separate your responsibilities during this time. If you need a few extra hours to complete those holidays errands there’s always…
Use Your Vacation Days
If you have one or two days you haven’t taken advantage of, this is your last chance to use them! Take a Monday off to finish your gift list or to complete the last recipe for your family’s reunion dinner this weekend. Every day you don't use, is the same as working for no pay.
Look Forward To Next year
Taking time to organize your 2015 goals and the means to get there will make you feel at ease during the holidays. It will be much easier to get a jump start on having a successful year with a firm plan in place. Also, don’t forget to actually enjoy this time. We often get caught up in the holiday jumble and forget to take in the season for what it should be. Enjoy time with your family and friends, you deserve to!
Happy Holidays everyone!