How to Beat the Winter Blues at Work

By Michele Koh Morollo
Winter is a great time for ski holidays, getting cozy indoors, or enjoying hot chocolate whenever you want, but the season may have a negative effect on your performance at work.

Colder weather and shorter days could leave some of us vulnerable to Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD). Some of us may be a little bluesy, or suffer from low-energy levels and lethargy. This can all make a regular workday feel a little more challenging than usual. 

If you want to stay motivated, focused, and productive through the winter months, here are some tips to help keep your spirits up as you breeze through your tasks at work.   

Cover photo of the Postmates office designed by Rapt Studio

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New York firm MCDC designed littleBits’s Chelsea office, which is outfitted with Togo sofas from Ligne Roset and an overhead fixture by Tech Lighting. The shelves hold books and play materials like Legos and K’nex.

New York firm MCDC designed littleBits’s Chelsea office, which is outfitted with Togo sofas from Ligne Roset and an overhead fixture by Tech Lighting. The shelves hold books and play materials like Legos and K’nex.

1) Use Light Boxes

Along with making sure you have the right lighting that's bright enough for your workspace, light therapy boxes can also be a useful way to treat SAD by simulating the mood-lifting effects that natural sunlight has on the body, and aiding in the release of the feel-good hormone Serotonin. In order for a light box to help with SAD, it needs to emit lights of at least 2,500 lux. Even if you don’t suffer from SAD, you can still introduce the uplifting effect of light boxes to your workplace with products such as a the My Cinema Lightbox® that lets you slide in your own cinema marquis letterings, or a coffee or side table light box

Artkalia Kubbia LED Cube
Artkalia Kubbia LED Cube
Stool, side table, playful light source. The Artkalia Kubbia LED Cube is all of these things. This large portable cube is made out of durable, waterproof White Opaque polypropylene, making it suitable for use indoors or out.
My Cinema Lightbox Original Cinema Lightbox
My Cinema Lightbox Original Cinema Lightbox
With letter storage, a sliding battery compartment, solid ABS shell, and cool bright LED backlights - the Original lightbox from the first lightbox brand is still the best quality you can trust.  Inspired by retro cinema signs, The Original Cinema Lightbox is the first of it's kind offering a...

2) Introduce Plants and Living Green Walls

Plants are known to help increase our oxygen intake, and researchers have found that they can increase office productivity, as well as reduce stress and the number of sick days taken. Sagegreenlife’s Verdanta collection of living green walls and office partitions are portable, easy-to-maintain, and ideal for bringing a little green into your office or home workstation during the winter months. The Babylon Light by Object/Interface combines the benefits of living plant life with light therapy to bring both greenery and illumination to your workplace.  

Green panel wall from Sagegreenlife's Verdanta collection.

Green panel wall from Sagegreenlife's Verdanta collection.


Object Interface Babylon Light
Object Interface Babylon Light
We’ve all been stuck, at one point or another, in a stark urban space dreaming about being outside in nature.
Preserved Moss Living Wall Garden
Preserved Moss Living Wall Garden
Add a lush touch of green to your home or office with this preserved moss wall garden. It combines mood and reindeer moss with dried green hanging amaranthus inside a wood frame.

3) Add Bright Colors

It’s no secret that bright and cheerful colors, such as sunshine yellows, flamingo pinks, fire-engine reds, and baby blues, can make us feel more alert and upbeat. If you want to go all out, you can do what Australian architect Andrew Maynard did with his home-based studio: paint the floors and stairs bright yellow for a psychologically healthy and energizing effect. Or, you can make smaller adjustments by adding a funky, colorful rug to your home office.

Shown here is the home and workplace of Australian architect Andrew Maynard.

Shown here is the home and workplace of Australian architect Andrew Maynard.


Multitone Rug
Multitone Rug
Material research primarily determines all of Jongerius’ designs. Her vast portfolio includes single pieces exhibited at galleries, mass-produced products sold at retail stores, design of airliner interiors and even the redesign of the North Delegates’ Lounge at the UN Headquarters in New York.

4) Keep Your Desk Tidy

Even on sunnier days, a messy desk can lead to a sleepy or cluttered mind. A healthy and happy workplace is a clean and tidy one, so organize your desk with stationary, filing, and storage systems so that it’s neat and welcoming.

Sliding trays help keep paperwork out of sight.

Sliding trays help keep paperwork out of sight.


Kesito Desk Organizer
Kesito Desk Organizer
The Kesito Desk Organizer is made up of three diamond-shaped blocks that can be arranged in a row, a hexagon, or separately.
Desk Tidy
Desk Tidy
Minimalism in a burst of feel-good hues, Cornwall-based label Block Design shares its love for the fascinating world of colour through a collection of bright home accessories in reduced forms.

5) Stay Hydrated

Dry winter air and indoor heating can cause stuffiness, colds, or sinus problems, not to mention, uncomfortable dry skin and thirst. Keep yourself well-hydrated by placing a humidifier on or below your desk, and a large jug or water close at hand, so your remember to drink enough liquids during the day.

Soma 10-Cup Pitcher with Oak Handle
Soma 10-Cup Pitcher with Oak Handle
Crystal clear. We love how versatile this pitcher is: One minute, it’s hard at work filtering chemicals and smells from your water; the next, it’s gracefully serving guests at the table (in fact, we love it so much, we use it in the office, too!).
11+ Bottle Humidifier Mini
11+ Bottle Humidifier Mini
The 11+ Bottle Humidifier Mini is a portable USB connected humidifier that is perfect for your apartment or workplace. The humidifier is easy to clean, and does not easily attract mold, which is a concerning issue for larger humidifiers.