With Veganuary, Dry January, and the January blues hitting the headlines every year, January seems to get all the attention. But with both Storm Ciara and Storm Dennis keeping skies grey in recent weeks, February has proven to be a real dampener on our spirits this year.

In recognition of this, Sodexo Engage has put together some easy, proactive measures employers can put in place to lift team morale and help create a happy, positive working environment this March.

Recognise success

The end of a month is a perfect time to take the opportunity to recognise successes. People want more than a pay cheque, after all. Real team players – those who are always willing to pitch in at the last minute, give up their time to help, or just bring positive energy every day – are worth their weight in gold. Giving them a boost with a ‘thank you’ meeting with the whole office followed by a big team lunch will end February with a bang and start March on a high.

Get talking

Having an open, communicative workplace means that issues get addressed head-on, plus positives and successes are also highlighted. Why not kick-off March with an informal, ‘town hall’-style meeting, as an opportunity to air any questions and issues. This is an opportunity for more senior staff to understand the concerns that are taking place amongst those they manage.

Bring the outside in

It’s a sad fact that the average office worker spends 1,700 hours a year at their desk. Help beat the Sunday dread and Monday blues by making the office more of a sanctuary. Plants are known to boost overall wellbeing, by removing harmful toxins in the air and therefore boosting air quality. As a result, ‘green’ offices leading to a 26% boost in cognition, and 30% fewer sickness absences.

Light it up

There’s significant evidence that shows natural light is transformative for low mood and dwindling productivity – according to a recent survey, a third of office workers said natural lighting would make them happier at work. Sometimes, due to building constraints, this just isn’t possible. Blue enriched lights are a great option for supplementing the benefits of natural light when it’s not available.


Say thank you

As we move into Spring, employees will value business leaders dialling up the appreciation stakes for getting through the bleak winter months. It’s not always the British way – many worry that saying thank you feels a bit cheesy, and have concerns about coming across as inauthentic. But briefing managers to go forth and be thankful by immediately acknowledging work instils a supportive and positive environment.

Jamie Mackenzie, Director at Sodexo Engage, comments:

“A collective low mood in the office is a real productivity killer, and we all tend to overcomplicate how to turn things around. But don’t just sit back and think that it will all blow over, either. Just a few easy steps are truly transformative, and employees will soon see the value of going the extra mile again once they know their efforts are being acknowledged.”