Spread the Joy
I am lucky to work alongside my Mum in our family business, in fact even our dog comes to work with us everyday. However I get that office environments can create feelings of stress and tension, rather than joy and happiness. Here's a few suggestions for how you can help spread a little joy amongst your colleagues this season - with NO Secret Santa suggested!
- Decorate your office - A few years ago I spent the weeks leading up to Christmas making giant tissue paper pom poms, metres of paper chains and other snowflake decorations. Myself and James then spent the weekend at work putting them all up so that all my colleagues would get a surprise when they entered the building on Monday morning. Even if I do say so myself, they came out fantastic and it really transformed our old draughty building and made it feel much more festive. Not everyone has to go to the same level of effort, but a few handmade decorations definitely have a lot more impact then a lonely piece of tinsel. I'll be doing a list of some great Christmassy craft ideas, but for now check out my Pinterest for inspiration
- Bake some Christmas goodies - a keen baker? Why not make a few mince pies or gingerbread biscuits to hand around? Everyone's mood can be lightened by a home baked treat and it's a good way to start a conversation with people you don't know as well. It could even become an office tradition where someone brings something in on the same day every week, and you can all indulge in a bit of fika by having your coffee breaks and enjoying the treats together. We have shared coffee breaks twice every day, and it's nice to have a break and all chat together for 15 minutes of so, we even have all sofas and comfy chairs around a round table so everyone can sit down. It also acts as an opportunity to discuss anything important in a more informal manner, and share great feedback we've received. The days where I had to spend my breaks alone in retail now seem very sad and lonely in comparison.
- Christmas Post - this is coming back from days in Primary School, but why not create an office post box? Everyone can pop their Christmas cards in and on the last day everyone can receive and read them all together. Guaranteed to leave everyone with a nice warm fuzzy feeling and also everyone can thank each other and wish each other a wonderful break before they leave for Christmas.
- Join in on charity days - Christmas Jumper Day, Text Santa, there are plenty of initiatives that an office can join in with. On Christmas jumpers you could even arrange some prizes for Worst Christmas Jumper, Most Overall Festive to be given out - and could even run some in-office activities such as a mince pie eating competition or a christmas cake bake off.
- Organise a lunch time carol concert or singalong - print out some song sheets, fire up spotify and have an office singalong one lunch time. You could even record it and pop it on your work's twitter or facebook page. For those who are really keen, and confident enough you could even go and sing outside your office and collect for a chosen charity one lunch hour. The singing is good for you, and the charity collection means you are doing a bit of good for the world too.
- Take some photos - have you ever seen those awful family photographs where everyone wears matching jumpers and does cheesy poses? Why not organise one for your team, you could even get it printed as a christmas card to send out to your clients who would appreciate the laugh. You could even go one step further and take a picture for every month with different props and release it as your own charity calendar!
- Take over the office christmas party - make it fun, with non awkward party games, plenty of cheesy christmas music, crackers, food and plenty of booze. No more awkward ice breakers or limited food and drink tokens - perhaps you could even persuade each person to bring in a dish of something that you can all share. A party should be a fun event where you can have a laugh with your comments,feel relaxed, and have fun on your own terms. It's a reward for the hard work your team has put in over the year, so if you aren't happy with how yours is run then go ahead and take over! Carol Karaoke would be good fun, especially if you have some keen singers and/or plenty of booze!
There are lots of ways you can help share the joy with your colleagues, above is just a few of my suggestions. Obviously nobody knows what will work best for your team other than you, but hopefully this post will help spark some ideas! If you can brighten someones day a little, then that's just a lovely thing to do.
Let me know if there's anything your office does at Christmas time by leaving me a comment below.
See you tomorrow,