Winter slumps don't only affect individuals, but businesses as well. Especially after the holiday cheer wears off, the cold weather and absence of sunlight seem to have an even bigger negative impact on working professionals everywhere, leading to a drop in productivity, loss of focus and overall lack of energy to get anything done.
To help beat the blues, these seven entrepreneurs share some of their favorite methods to liven up their workforce during the cold winter months, from fun team outings and games to time off and more.
Organize events with a focus on wins.
"Hosting team events can be a fantastic way to liven up the energy of a firm during the long winter days. A focus on socializing and food is a sure way to boost spirits," FE International founder Thomas Smale argues.
According to Smale, the fun component of such team events can be further enhanced by including the company's "wins" for the year so as to remind employees of their achievements, while also looking to the future: "Aim to generate a buzz around the strategy and innovations planned for the next year."
Schedule company outings.
Group events should not only be confined to the office -- companies can also organize regular outings for some cool winter fun with the whole team.
"We love the holiday season and embrace it as much as possible -- happy hour, holiday parties and concerts," Bell + Ivy co-founder and president Zach Binder explains. "Our goal has been to try to turn this time of year into everyone's favorite season and, thus far, we have succeeded."
Do movie nights together.
Perhaps a less common but highly entertaining such an outing is taking the whole team to the movies, says Nicole Munoz Consulting, Inc. founder and CEO Nicole Munoz, underlining the importance of such bonding experiences when it comes to livening up the company during the blue months of winter.
"Sometimes it's fun for staff to go together and see movies that can be relevant for the company, to learn and be presented with new facts and information that makes people share time together outside of work," Munoz adds.
Let them decorate.
"I will admit that when everything outside feels festive, it can be hard to sit indoors and work," Behavioral Signals CEO Rana Gujral says. Employees typically see the office as their "second home" -- that's why it's crucial to make it a welcoming space.
To help, Gujral has encouraged his team to help decorate the office for the holidays every year. "We bring in snacks and have a decorating party. The final product lightens everyone's spirits and makes coming to the office significantly more joyful," he explains.
Create a team cookbook.
Another fun activity for a team, including a remote one, is creating something that can be shared electronically between all employees. In the case of OptinMonster -- which, as a fully remote company, cannot organize an office holiday party to boost employees' spirits -- it's a team cookbook.
"The cookbook is created in Google Docs and then shared with the whole team. Then, team members can share their favorite recipes by updating the doc," co-founder and president Thomas Griffin adds. "It's a fun group project we can do remotely."
"Everyone loves games," WPForms co-founder Jared Atchison says. In his experience, bringing out employees' competitive spirit in a fun and relaxed environment can boost the energy in the entire office.
"Your company can create fun games for you and your team to play together," Atchison explains of his organization's process. "You can do this during lunch break or encourage your team to take a small break from their slumps and join you in a fun activity."
Give them time off.
One effective way to help your employees overcome the winter blues and regain motivation is to give them time off, either during or after the holidays. This is especially helpful for employees with school-age children, according to MKG Marketing COO Kerry Guard.
"That's why we close from December 24 to January 1, giving the team a full week to be with their families, to not worry about childcare, to take a break and reset and look forward to hitting the ground running in the new year," Guard says. "Our people come back rejuvenated and inspired and, most importantly, less stressed."