Events to usher in the ‘new’ without the ‘blue’

We all know that feeling of going back to work after the excitement and joy of the holiday season. Even with the prospect of seeing colleagues again, at best we feel a little deflated and at worst we feel downright ‘blue’.

It would make a big difference if employees had something new to look forward to, or if the year started off differently in their working environments. Here are some ways in which we as management, leadership, and PR and event departments can minimise the New Year blues.

Send a welcome back memo – include some thoughts and ideas for the year ahead to get everyone excited. One could share some cryptic clues about what will be happening in the coming weeks and months.

Share treats – management could start off the first day by providing a fun snack on everyone’s desk such as a donut/smoothie. It could become an every Monday morning event with a staff member or team tasked with providing this welcome ‘pick me up’, to be paid out of petty cash.

Stand-up meetings or a ‘walk and talk’ – start having meetings where staff stand up rather than sit down or, better still, ‘walk and talk’ meetings in the office grounds, garden or around the block. This form of meeting is more invigorating and healthier than being in a sedentary position.

Start up an IDEA notice board – where staff are encouraged to post ideas to enhance office life, for new pitches etc. The best idea of the week could be rewarded with some sort of small prize.

Install an indoor fun chip ’n putt/VR game – encourage staff to play when they are frustrated, stuck or have creative block.

De-clutter – it is time to de-clutter desks, minds and working environments to allow positive energy in, just as we did for the new year at school. One could hire an expert on de-cluttering to give a 15-minute talk during a tea break or during a morning meeting. This could be in the form of physical, environmental or mental de-cluttering.

Plan an outing on the first or second Friday of the year. This could be a cooking class, playing indoor soccer or cricket, go-karting or a graffiti tour with pizzas and beers afterwards. It could become a monthly, bi-monthly or quarterly event, depending on workload.

Plan an overnight ‘camp out’ in a fun, rustic environment and encourage activities like cook-offs and fireside storytelling. This could become a monthly, bi-monthly or quarterly event, depending on workload.

Encourage a new outreach programme – investigate local schools, retirement homes or animal shelters that have critical need and support this in the form of volunteering or organising small fundraisers or collections for them.

Management and event planners can go a long way, without too much cost, to usher in enthusiasm, drive and energy in their teams.

Founding and managing member of Where Next Event Management cc, Cheryl has a long history in the public relations and eventing industry with a Public Relations Dip, PRISA. She has a wealth of experience in business and staff management and this, coupled with her belief in education and empowerment, has contributed to the success of the company for over 22 years. She has specialised in fundraising and donor management through her active role in the Project Group and Akani Diepsloot Foundation. Her enthusiasm for events, her highly creative mind and detail-orientated management style shine through in every aspect of the organisation.