Winter is Coming: An Office Survival Guide For This Holiday Season

Holiday music and colorful turkeys are slowly beginning creeping their way back into offices everywhere. The hustle and bustle of the holiday season is upon us! One of the most anticipated times of the year can often create confusion for some in the workplace like, “How loud is too loud to play Christmas Music” or “How many days can turkey last in the office fridge?” and “How much is too much weight to gain over the next eight weeks?”

Those who don’t learn from the past are doomed to repeat it. Even though it’s been a year, old man winter is upon us again with his myriad of holidays and festivals. Here are a few reminders of what the season—once again—brings to the workplace and how best to make it through.

Wake Up A Bit Earlier This Holiday Season

There is nothing more comforting than laying in a cozy, warm bed for a few extra minutes on those cold mornings. However, with Daylight Savings Time kicking in soon (and reclaiming that extra hour of sleepy-sleep) it would be a great time for getting into the habit of waking up a few minutes earlier. Let’s face it, the holidays can be hectic and it’s easy to fall behind on our daily responsibilities, causing us to push back our bedtime as well as our waking time. Yet if you make it a priority to keep a strict bedtime, just like when we were children, it will become much easier to wake up earlier. This is helpful on the mornings where the bus is delayed, trains aren’t on time, or your car is buried in what feels like 57 feet of snow. Waking up even just a few minutes earlier can allow you extra time to handle these situations and not ruin your whole day right off the bat.

Don’t Skip the Workouts This Holiday Season

There’s no better time to focus on your physical health than when the daylight fades and the temperatures drop. Yes, it may be tempting to cheat on the workout days during the holiday season, just remember it will become harder to start back up after the holidays have passed. There are small, easy ways you can keep in shape while on the clock. Consider taking the stairs instead of the elevator, take a walk around the building during your break or lunch, or switch your workstation to a standing desk. If the green and red sprinkled sugar cookies your co-worker’s kids made are too tempting, park farther away from the building than needed to get a couple of extra steps registered on your FitBit. There’s no reason you can’t enjoy the cookie AND get some exercise and fresh air. Sneaking a little exercise into your daily routine doesn’t require drastic adjustment… keep it simple and you’ll thank yourself later.

Avoid Spreading Germs This Holiday Season

Unfortunately, along with the holiday season, the inevitable and dreaded cold and flu season arrives as well. There’s literally nothing worse than working while sick during the holidays. Being conscientious about the spread of germs and viruses at the office (your own and others) is vital in keeping sick days to a minimum. Door handles, elevator buttons, conference room tables, restrooms, coffee pots, break room tables, and other commonly touched surfaces are a hotbed of infection for the germy-germs. Heck… even that deliciously tempting bowl of red and green M&M’s at reception (despite being tasty and esthetically pleasing) has had literally everyone’s hand in that bowl. So give all surfaces in your home and office a quick wipe down at the beginning or end of the day. It can really help cut down on the number and spread of sicknesses transferred from these surfaces.

Also? Get a flu shot. There is no excuse not to get a flu shot. Nearly every supermarket and pharmacy offer them. They’re easy, cheap, and effective. Would you rather pay $10 dollars for a flu shot or lose three or four sick days at work?

Maintain A Balanced Diet This Holiday Season

This time of year is marked by Yuletide cheer (and food). It’s a time to celebrate the spirit of peace and giving (and food). A time for all humankind to put aside their differences and celebrate togetherness with family and friends (and food). Well, you get the picture…

With so many yummy food opportunities being offered (at home and at the office), it can become very easy to forget all about eating healthy instead of eating a lot. When it comes to food and snacks at the office, remember everyone might not celebrate food the same way during the holidays.

It may be hard to decide what holiday snacks are appropriate, so bringing healthy options is always a safe bet. This way others can enjoy maintaining their special dietary restrictions as well. Be mindful of possible allergies by co-workers such as peanuts or gluten. A few simple options would be ham and cheese rollups, red and green fruit salad, or even gluten-free cookies. If any of these sounds appealing (and you would like to get into the baking spirit) the recipes can be found in the slideshow at the end of the post!

Consideration of Others Goes a Long Way

As previously mentioned, not everyone is going to have the same view on the holidays. It is nice to be courteous and respectful of all views, especially in an office setting. Decorations are fun, but it’s important to keep in mind sounds and smells can affect those around you. As much joy as a gyrating Santa dancing to, “Grandma Got Runover by a Reindeer” can bring everyone, even Santa can get a little (okay… a lot) distracting and become a productivity killer. Smells can also kill productivity, especially when someone doesn’t like your cinnamon and nutmeg candles or is allergic to a certain scent. It’s hard to believe, but not everyone loves the smell of pumpkin spice and peppermint. Try keeping sounds and fragrances to a minimum so everyone is happy!

The holidays might be, “The Most Wonderful Time of the Year,” but it also a great deal of hard work. If you find yourself barely surviving, look back on these tips and put them to the test.

So what are some of your favorite decorations to bring to the office? We love decorating our cubes during the holidays! As always, have a safe and happy holiday season from Skutchi Designs!