The autumn months, especially in a cold weather region, spawn a barrage of messages about winterizing. Experts agree that winterizing is a smart, proactive step, whether this involves keeping an emergency kit in the car, replacing windshield wipers or investing in snow tires, to help people navigate safely through inclement weather.
But in addition to making the immediate surroundings winter ready, don't forget about preparing yourself and your business for the icy months ahead as well.
1. Get outside.
With daylight savings gone, the commute can start in pitch black and wind up with an exhausting drive home with the headlights on. The absence of daylight can bring even the most dedicated workers to the edge.
Some experts believe a lack of sunlight can even trigger symptoms of depression. While 20 degrees Fahrenheit and cloudy skies might not inspire you to run five miles, spending a few minutes outside can be enough to lift your spirits. A brisk, bundled up 15-minute lunchtime walk may just fulfill both your exercise and sunshine quotas for the day.
2. Embrace the holiday season.
Although some may believe the workplace should be a serious, no-nonsense place, it's OK to have a little fun during the holidays. To liven up the season, throw a desk- or cubicle-decorating contest or a holiday-spirit attire day.
3. Set the right example as the boss.
Just because you're the boss doesn't mean you're immune to holiday distractions. While it might be tempting to cut out early to get a head start on shopping or beat rush hour, keep in mind the quote by Mary Kay Ash, "The speed of the leader is the speed of the gang." Be someone who demonstrates a firm embrace of the holiday spirit all while still being productive.
4. Make healthy living a priority.
The holidays are infamous for the plethora of tasty, but not-so-good-for-you desserts and snacks that tend to literally show up at your front door (holiday gifts from gracious vendors, salespeople or your resident office Betty Crocker). I'm not suggesting forgoing the break room completely for the next few months, but remember that indulging in moderation is key.
It's also not a bad idea to stack the deck in favor of healthy alternatives. For instance, at my company, there's a subsidized healthy vending machine in one break room. Consider a fun office bake-off with a healthy theme.
5. Create a year-end rallying cry.
What were your company or department objectives at the beginning of the year or quarter? If you haven't promoted them lately, now is as good a time as ever to remind the team about finishing up the year strong.
Perhaps the goal set 10 or 11 months ago seems insurmountable. So use the remainder of the year to focus on closing the gap. This is a great strategy for showing what your team is made of and building some strong momentum for the coming year.