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Keys to warming up the workplace this winter

With winter’s cold sticking around, some New Yorkers

With winter’s cold sticking around, some New Yorkers are having a tough time staying motivated at work. Photo Credit: iStock

With winter’s cold sticking around, some New Yorkers are having a tough time staying motivated at work, while afflicted with classic cases of seasonal depression.

“If you’re not bringing sunshine to the office because you’re not getting sunshine yourself, you can be even more exhausted at the office,” said Karen Elizaga, a Manhattan-based executive career coach and author of “Find Your Sweet Spot: A Guide to Personal and Professional Excellence.”

So what can you do?

First of all, clean up your desk, Elizaga said: “The clutter takes away your focus.”
While you’re at it, sanitize your keyboard, mouse, phone and anything else your hands frequently touch.

“Since these winter months are the prime time for getting sick with a cold or flu, keep wipes and hand sanitizer nearby,” she recommended.

In addition, bring lunches that are packed with energizing fresh fruits and veggies, and even throw in a vitamin pack, to keep your immune system boosted. And even if it is freezing out, get outside and away from your desk for a little while each day.

“Take a lunch break; don’t work right through the day,” Elizaga said. “Studies show that being sedentary can offset all the work you do at the gym.”

While you’re at your desk, “listen to inspiring music,” she added.

Piera Palazzolo of Dale Carnegie Training, an employment resource center with an office in Manhattan, said “cold weather or bad weather makes you lethargic because it’s harder to get to work, it’s harder to connect with people. There are missed meetings.”

She suggested taking advantage of online platforms such as Skype, which allow meetings to be conducted remotely.

And, since people are less inclined to brave the cold for lunch hour, Palazzolo advised using winter workdays as bonding time in the office.

“It is a great time to engage with your employers,” she said.

“Invite someone to have lunch with you in your kitchenette or your work cafeteria — get to know your co-workers a little better that way.”


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