Winter Comfort in the Workplace

Let’s face it: winter can be an uncomfortable time to be at work. It’s cold outside, it’s cold inside, everybody is coughing, and the commute can be slow and stressful. Short of closing the office until spring (which is tempting), is there anything that can improve employee satisfaction during the winter months? Of course there is. Here are some easy office tips for making your workplace more comfortable during winter weather.

Inform employees of winter weather policies ahead of time

Improve employee satisfaction by keeping workers up-to-date on policy. Employees should know whether or not they will be paid if they cannot make it to work due to inclement weather. They should also be informed of how they can use their paid leave to cover this absence, and how this might affect holiday pay. Further, employees should be warned of possible dangers on the workplace premises, like icy sidewalks.

Find a good temperature for your office

Did you know that there is evidence of an ideal temperature for employee productivity? Research suggests that workers in an office of about 72 degrees are more productive than employees in warmer or colder offices. Additionally, a reasonably warm office will go a long way toward improving employee satisfaction.

If winter weather is making the office uncontrollably chilly (zero degree weather will do that), offer employees some office tips for climate control in their offices. Suggest that people wear layers, or bring blankets for their laps. Even consider heating pads or space heaters, if those are feasible in your company policy. Also think about having hot coffee or tea readily available for a toasty pick-me-up.

Give employees office tips for staying healthy

Notify employees of office tips to avoid spreading germs. Post hand washing reminders in the bathrooms and break rooms. Advise sick employees to stay home, or to keep to themselves if they have to come to work. Encourage healthy employees to stay active in the office. It may even be a good idea to provide fresh fruit and juice during the winter to encourage employees to eat well and stay healthy!

Have a food day for employee satisfaction

When the weather outside is frightful, a soup and sandwich lunch can be delightful. Organize an office potluck with lots of comfort food, and everyone will forget for a little bit about the winter weather outside. This is an especially good idea for a day when snow is coming down while everyone is at work. This way, no one has to go out in the snow for lunch!

What office tips do you have for employee satisfaction during the winter? Leave a comment below, or send me a tweet: @ithinkther4iamb #officetips

IMAGE: Courtesy of Flickr by Per Ola Wiburg