Surviving Winter: a Guide to Office Etiquette

When winter comes in America, it comes hard. Especially if you live in one of the Northern states! That’s all well and good when it comes to driving, keeping the house warm, and keeping heavy loads of snow from breaking your roof – but what about the office? How can you behave so as to make winter less horrible for yourself – and remain as polite as possible towards others? Read on for some handy tips.

A big problem in snow and ice is keeping your shoes clean. Especially if you are a woman and wear high-heeled shoes to work, ice and snow are not your friend. Furthermore, the odds of slipping and ending up head-long in a snowdrift are quite sizeable!

So why don’t you bring your ‘office shoes’ along in two plastic bags (one wrapped tightly around them to protect them from the snow and slush, then placed in a second bag to make them easy to carry)? During the working day, your ‘outside shoes’ can be placed in the plastic bags and deposited in a drawer or kept at the bottom of the coat rack. As long as the bags aren’t too ratty, or too in-your-face, you have nothing to worry about.

This also allows you to carry on wearing suede shoes throughout the winter without risking them getting ruined in the wet weather. An alternative method is to leave your office shoes at the office and simply wear your other shoes home, but only do this if your shoes are sure to be safe!

In winter, keeping warm is a big concern. Scarves, coats and gloves do a great job of achieving this, but remember to place them in a warm, dry spot during the day so they can dry. You may also find it beneficial to bring in sachets of dried soup such as Cup-a-Soup. This is a drink that will warm you up and make you feel cared-for.

Sharing these drinks with co-workers and, when appropriate, clients, can really help you to build a bond. By the same token, bringing in Tupperware containers full of leftovers to be microwaved will help you keep going during the day; the hot, stodgy food will allow you to feel you’ve had a boost of energy that will sustain you throughout the afternoon. And a hot snack such as a Hot Pocket or even a Pop Tart can help, based on the same principle!

Keep a hot pad near your desk, in case you end up in a situation where your hands, for example, have gotten exceedingly cold and need some help getting warm. Not only will keeping warm and cozy help you feel better, it will also increase your productivity and help you feel capable of achieving.

Adapting your office behaviors for the colder weather will not just help you enjoy the winter more; it can also improve your ability to appear professional, allow you to bond with your co-workers and managers, and help the winter seem like less of a chore or hindrance to your ability to work!

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