Deck the Office With Boughs of Holly: Coworking Over Christmas

Woman at desk with Christmas tree in background

Only the people who have had to work around the holidays, especially Christmas, will understand that it’s not always a silent night.

Of course, there are obvious cases of those who need to be ready – doctors, nurses, who save people’s lives, and department store workers, who also save people’s lives (especially the lives of people who decided to buy a Christmas present at the last possible moment).

However, in this day and age, many companies simply cannot afford to rest during the holidays. This means that their workers cannot afford it, too. These categories include freelancers, startups, junior clerks at a big company. They may have to finish some important work around the Christmas holidays, and there is no escape.

One may presume that coworking offices are empty during the holidays, but that can’t be further from the truth. There is always a group of people that needs to be there.

However, that doesn’t necessarily have to be a dreadful thing. Let’s see how we can turn the tables on this one.

How Does Working Over the Holidays Impact Your State of Mind?

Man working next to Christmas tree

The amount of obligations an average person has around the holidays increases excessively as the Christmas Day approaches. Add having to actually work on Christmas Day to it, and you have a series of stressful events many cannot cope with easily and appropriately. People tend to get extra depressed around this time of year, watching everybody prepare for the holidays, while they know they will work and not spend time with their family and loved ones.

This just makes a lot of people feel all the more lonely and abandoned, thinking there is nothing that can make them feel better and lift their spirits during this “most wonderful time of the year.”

Now, due to the Cov-19 pandemic, when people have to socially distance themselves from everybody and pay close attention to who they will meet or not, they may feel more isolated than ever.

However, there are a few ways you can counteract this feeling. Now, as you yourself have probably learnt, many things seem exciting, and there is no reason why a Christmas at the office should be any different. Think of it this way – even the most boring office Christmas parties now seem like a thing to look forward to.

Let’s see how you can make coworking on Christmas more exciting and comfortable for yourself and others.

Coworking Over Christmas

As we said, you can’t influence the load of work you get, and the time when are going to get it, so if you are a freelancer, a startup company worker, or an intern at a big company, you have to be prepared to take on an extra shift to climb your way up, no matter whether it is Christmas, Easter, 4th of July, or any other holiday for that matter.

Staying at home is out of the option, because you can’t take part in regular festive activities, so you decide to go to your work table prepared to suffer, hoping it will pay off in the end.

On the other hand, it doesn’t really have to be like this, does it? There are a couple of things you can do that will help not only you, but also the people working around you feel better.

Focus on the Positive

Woman at desk

In order to survive working for the holidays, you have to change your state of mind, however hard it may seem. All of us have been there, at some point in our lives, so we get you. It is hard. But you mustn’t allow yourself to dive into the holiday blues, but make the best of it. Think about all the positive sides of working in a co shared office space and use those benefits to the fullest.

Pamper Yourself With the Money You Earn

Whether you are a freelancer or you work for a company, working during the holidays means more money.

And, more money means you will have the opportunity to spend it on treating yourself with a nice spa day or a vacation afterwards. That cozy armchair you have been yearning for, that nice watch? Or a simple pair of jeans. With the extra money you get, make sure you treat yourself with something nice.

Bills that you have to pay are not going away any time soon, but in order to be able to continue, you have to find a way to give yourself these small presents, to treat yourself, to make all the ordeal worth your while. Even a nice mug can lift your spirits. Pamper yourself, because in these harsh times, we often tend to forget about ourselves.

Use Flexibility to Your Advantage

As someone working in a communal working space and usually having flexible working hours, there is really no excuse. The biggest benefit of having flexible working hours is the fact that you can choose when to go to work and you can organize your day any way you want.

How is that beneficial during the holidays? Well, you can avoid the commotion. You can skip the rush hour, you can skip the heavy traffic and, most importantly, you can avoid crazy Christmas shopping hours at the store. You can actually go Christmas shopping during the day, while everybody else is working. That will put the edge off your obligations for the holidays a bit, or, if you come to think about it, a lot.

Deck the Coworking Halls

Working Christmas doesn’t have to be devoid of everything cheerful! Talk with your fellow coworkers and organize a decoration day! Bring your own ornaments and decorate your work station and your surroundings. It will lift both yours and their Christmas spirits!

A small Christmas tree there, a little reindeer over here, a nice set of Christmas lights over the doors and windows and there you go!

You can, for example, bring a holiday mug for your coffee or tea. No matter what you are drinking, you are going to feel more festive just by carrying that around.

Change your desktop background. This is by far the easiest way of decorating your work station, even if you are hot desking. Find the shiniest Christmas photo ever and just leave it there. Somebody working there after you can only thank you. If they are not into Christmas too much, they can always change it.

Leave Notes and Greeting Cards

It is always nice to find somebody wishing you well.

This year, you can take it a step further and try to be the one spreading joy.

Write a note with a nice Christmas wish and just leave it on the work station or on the computer. Add a small note at the bottom saying “spread the joy.” This is a difficult time for everybody, and a bit of spreading joy won’t do any harm to anybody, only make them feel less anxious.

Organize a Gift Exchange

Coworkers giving Christmas gift

If you talk with your fellow coworkers, you will most likely realize there are so many other people in the same situation as you. So why not make the most of it? Organize a secret Santa event at the coworking office space.

Put all the names of the people who want to participate into one hat, and let them pick the person whom they will buy a present. Set the boundary at, for example 5 or 10 dollars per present, because it can’t be something that will put additional pressure on your already stressed fellow coworkers. However, such small trinkets of attention will help them feel better and survive the fact that they have to work during the holidays.

Of course, this has to be voluntary, so don’t burden those who don’t want to participate. They have their own reasons.

Bring Christmas Cookies

There’s no reason why you can’t be the one designated to lift everybody’s spirit.

Bring some cookies everybody can bond around, sharing your positive thoughts and best wishes. Maybe it will start a circle of sharing, and perhaps motivate other people to do something similar.

Attend Any Organized Events

Despite the pandemic, there sure are going to be some events organized by the coworking community. Every coworking company has an event space, designated for such use, and they will certainly have to follow all the safety measures and regulations. Even though you are probably not in the mood for any sort of gatherings, this wouldn’t be smart to pass, of course, with all the necessary precautionary measures.

Just ten minutes of your time could mean a lot for your future prospects, because, even in the Cov-19 time, networking is everything. And since you have been closed up at home or alone at the office, some mingling won’t do you any harm, quite the opposite.

It will provide you with the opportunity to meet someone new and prosper in your career by meeting somebody influential, a possible future business partner or boss. You can hear many different amazing ideas connected to your line of work, which is certainly a good thing about these types of gatherings.

Attend/Organize the Coworking Christmas Party

Man singing Christmas karaoke at office desk

Even though organizing and attending a Christmas party during the pandemic can be an almost impossible endeavor, things are not as lost as they may seem. There can be an office party, you just need to follow some of the basic rules and measures.

All coworking companies have to take into consideration CDC recommendations and social distancing guidelines to make the stay of their users as safe as possible. This is not an exception when it comes to organizing a party. The celebration may seem a bit unusual, but you will have to wing it, and that’s just life, right?

Now, there are a few ways you can spice up the party and make it more fun.

Set a Theme

Usually, many people are not bothered too much by what they’ll wear to work in the coworking community. But, having a theme set for the Christmas holidays can be quite amusing. No matter if it is traditional, tacky, tasteful or chic, it will make you do something different, and yet holiday related, and perhaps make you forget for a second that you’re working during the holidays.

Play Fun Games

You will probably be divided into separate groups, and will have to practice social distancing. Keep in mind, however, that this is better than no party at all. There are many games you can play and enjoy, while following the rules. Let’s mention a couple of oldies but goldies.

·         Who am I

Write the name of a famous person on post-it notes and put them in a bowl. Each of the players has to approach the bowl and put the post-it on their forehead so they can’t see it. You then ask questions about your secret celebrity to which answers can be only yes or no, until you discover who the person is. You will sure have a lot of fun playing this old gem.

·         Detective

All the participants sit in a circle 6 feet apart, and get the cards with their characters, descriptions, alibis and other information. One person that is decided to be the detective asks a series of prepared questions in order to solve the crime. The game is finished once you find the culprit.

·         Pictionary

This game is always popular and interesting for participants of all ages. Just prepare a giant blackboard and you’re good to go. The words you choose to describe can come from various fields and the fun never stops!

·         Cues

If you want to get to know your coworkers better, then this is a game for you. You play it in pairs and have an arbiter who checks the timer. Each participant thinks of 5 different things and writes them down on 5 different pieces of paper and puts them in the middle of the table.

There are three rounds. In the first one, you try to guess the word on the paper while your partner tries to explain it, but they can’t use the word written on the paper. The couple that has the least words solved loses the first round.

The second round includes the same set of words, just in this round you need to explain the words on the paper using only one word. This round tests your memory. Again, the couple with the lowest score loses.

The third round consists of again explaining the same set of words, but now with the help of body language, so you can’t talk. The winner is the couple that has the highest score.

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