How to Beat the Winter Blues at Work

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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

How to Beat the Winter Blues at Work - Photo 1 of 4 - 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. Its color-changing LED module is recharged by simply removing it and placing it on the charging station.
Original Cinema Lightbox
Original Cinema Lightbox
Bring your words to light with creative marquee lightboxes for your home or office.  My Cinema Lightbox is constantly working on new options, designing by imagining what they’d like to have in their home or office and then bringing it to life. The Original Cinema Lightbox is great for home and wedding decor, bumilestone announcements, photoshoots, just about any creative idea you have, and its lightweight design allows for easy transport.  

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.  

How to Beat the Winter Blues at Work - Photo 2 of 4 - Green panel wall from Sagegreenlife's Verdanta collection.

Green panel wall from Sagegreenlife's Verdanta collection.


Babylon Light
Babylon Light
We’ve all been stuck, at one point or another, in a stark urban space dreaming about being outside in nature. The Babylon Light will bring nature to you with its ingenious design that combines a pendant light and a planter in a sleek, modern design. Choose the plants, add a light bulb and you’re ready to go. Whether you prefer the small white flowers of a snowdrop plant or the cascading tendrils of English ivy, this hanging lamp will revitalize both your living space and your senses. Each light is designed and made in Canada by Object/Interface.
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. Choose either the simplicity of a white distressed wood frame or a more modern black wood frame to offset the cool tranquility of this living arrangement. Ideal for creating a mini oasis of beautiful serenity, moss walls are a modern interior décor trend with an ancient history. A thousand years ago, zen Buddhist monks of Japan cultivated moss on stones and walls and considered it an essential element: a symbol of harmony, age, and tradition that facilitated meditation.

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.

How to Beat the Winter Blues at Work - Photo 3 of 4 - 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. Jongerius was just beginning her career when she was approached by Maharam and invited to work on a project for their 100th anniversary. Maharam now produces 29 different Jongerius textiles, many of which are in the permanent collections at the Art Institute Chicago, Cooper Hewitt Smithsonian Design Museum and MoMA. In addition to conceiving textiles for Maharam, Jongerius creates innovative works for clients of her own company, Jongeriuslab, and serves as the design director at Danskina, a Kvadrat Maharam company for which she dreams up rugs. She has a very clear idea of what makes a rug: “There are three components that have to make music together: interesting yarns, great construction and the right technique to give the pattern dazzling oxygen.” Starting life as a color test swatch for another one of her rugs, Jongerius’ Multitone Rug (2014) demonstrates her genius eye for color. When asked why her colors look so beautiful together, she replies, “That is the secret of the color-cooking chef.” The rich texture of Multitone comes from its flat handwoven basket construction, which she calls “the archetype of weaving.” Made in India.

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.

How to Beat the Winter Blues at Work - Photo 4 of 4 - 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. The wooden piece can hold a forest of upright pens, the yellow is slotted to hold cards, notes, and smartphones, and the grey is the perfect spot for pins, paper clips, and other small items.  A beautiful design, hand made out of solid pine wood by traditional artisans in Spain's Tierra de Pinares region.
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. The Sketch Desk Tidy Organiser keeps pens and pencils in place while adding a colourful accent to your desktop. A two-dimensional sketch realised in a three-dimensional steel form, its geometric shape is sharp yet unassuming. Functional simplicity meets optimism-inspiring colour.

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 Sustainable Pitcher & Plant-Based Water Filter
Soma Sustainable Pitcher & Plant-Based Water Filter
Soma is on a mission to improve life for everyone who drinks water, with sustainable, plant-based filters that make water healthy and delicious, beautiful carafes and pitchers, and the convenient Filters by Mail service. The Soma Pitcher is made of shatter-proof, BPA-free plastic. Designed to look stunning on your table and fit perfectly in your fridge, the pitcher holds 10-cups (80 oz) of crisp, refreshing filtered water. Easy-to-fill and featuring Soma’s unique filter made of coconut shell carbon and plant-based casing that removes chlorine and improves taste. And for every Soma filter purchased, clean drinking water is donated to people in need through Soma’s nonprofit partner, charity: water.
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. In addition, the bottle portion is shatterproof, and easily fit within a suitcase or backpack for traveling. The mist from the humidifier is beneficial for those with dry skin and congestion. 

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