How to Beat the Winter Blues at Work

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.

Use Light Boxes

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.

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.

Vitamin K Lamp
Vitamin's hand-made K lamp consists of two parts. The head, which acts a diffuser and directs the light, and the base which houses the lamp. The two create a bold and unique silhouette.Can be used as ambient lighting, or as a task light.Ships with inline switch and 3m Cable. GU10 LED Bulb Included.
HAY Turn On Table Lamp
Joel Hoff earned a master’s in design from the Royal College of Art in London in 2014 and now runs his own studio in Munich. Through his work, he aims to inspire people to own fewer things of greater quality that last longer.
Artemide Dioscuri Table Lamp
Designed by Michele De Lucchi, the Artemide Dioscuri Table Lamp adds a soft form and a heavenly glow into modern interiors.

Introduce Plants and Living Green Walls

Green panel wall from Sagegreenlife's Verdanta collection.

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.

The Sill Jade Plant
The Jade Plant is known for its upright, treelike appearance and glossy green, spoon-shaped leaves. In bright light, the leaves can develop a red hue around their edges.
The Sill Preserved Mini Living Wall, 12" x 12"
This zero maintenance miniature 'living wall' will liven-up any interior space. A combination of moss and ferns preserved in their prime, there is no upkeep necessary – simply hang and enjoy. Hanging hardware included. These are real plants that have been naturally preserved.
The Sill ZZ Plant
The ZZ Plant is paired with our Small Grant Planter, an earthenware pot measuring 4.25" tall and 5" wide. Your plant height may vary slightly. It comes potted in our soil mix to increase plant health, longevity, and growth. The Grant does not have a drainage hole.

Add Bright Colors

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

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.

HAY Pinocchio Rug
HAY is a Danish design company established in 2002 by Mette and Rolf Hay, who were driven by a desire to create straightforward, functional and beautiful products for modern living. Drawing from the best of architecture and fashion, HAY designers specialize in technology, innovation and color.
Backdrop Pablo Honey Paint
Bright, cozy yellow.
Fly TWA: San Francisco Print
Graphic, gold-washed, vibrant, and vivacious, this vintage airline ad sums up its destination with classic allusions to some of the most commonly recognizable colors, textures and locales.

Keep Your Desk Tidy

Sliding trays help keep paperwork out of sight.

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.

Herman Miller Formwork Paper Tray
Kondo divides her papers into two categories: papers to be saved and papers that need to be dealt with.
Karimoku New Standard Berra
Berra is a paper holder made of solid oak wood and depends on gravity. Wooden counterweights loosely placed on a sloped wooden base slide by their own weight. Simply stick your papers or postcards in-between the counterweights and gravity will hold them in place.
The Citizenry Sepon Terrazzo Desk Set
Bring a bit of mid-mod style to your workspace with this two-piece terrazzo desk set. This set includes a striking little vessel to corral all your odds and ends and a sculptural pyramid to keep your papers in place.  These pieces were designed by ZAKKIA for The Citizenry.

Stay Hydrated

What was once a storage space is now a sun-drenched home office where the couple writes emails and stores their design magazines. The jute rug is from West Elm; the desk is a door on IKEA legs.

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.

Kinto Double-Walled To-Go Tumbler (17oz.)
Sip and take.  These bright buddies remind us of a day at the beach, and, hey, maybe that’s exactly where we’ll take ‘em. Each vacuum-insulated tumbler keeps your favorite drink cold or hot for six hours and is made from powder-coated stainless steel for an extra kick of durability.
LARQ Bottle
The LARQ Bottle is the world's first self-cleaning water bottle and water purification system.

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