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Thursday, February 25, 2010.


Sales are falling, communication is lacking and motivation is at a seasonal low. In other words, it's February.

According to leading business consultant Lindsay Rutland-Dix, the key to combating office de-motivation is to recognise that a little goes a long way.

"A foul mood is like a rotten apple, it only takes one in a closely confined office to spoil the rest," says Rutland-Dix.

"Keeping spirits high can be achieved with a few subtle changes. If the change is kept up consistently, it will slowly grow into a habit - once something is habitual you can start to reap the results.

"I say this speaking from experience, a few years ago I was overweight and dissatisfied with my life, but thanks to a few subtle changes kept up every day I've kept the weight off, found my self-esteem and become incredibly motivated."

Rutland-Dix says simple steps such as installing SADS light bulbs into desk lamps can combat the irritability caused by lack of natural daylight, while fresh flowers on desks can enhance the sense of smell which triggers a positive mood.

Equally, penciling in coffee with a different colleague each week can keep the all-important face-to-face interaction skills intact, while doing something active first thing on a Monday morning will boost adrenalin and give time to mentally prepare for the week ahead.

Once a high-flying corporate executive, Rutland-Dix has retrained as a life coach and has now launched business consultancy service www.AimAchievers.com, having worked with global names including IBM, Orange and Colt.

"Everyone receives personalised training through tried-and-tested techniques including Neuro Linguistic Programming," says Rutland-Dix, a qualified NLP Master practitioner.

"We tap into a successful mindset to understand how to achieve specific goals.

"Whatever that goal may be, you can be sure that the route to achieving it starts with something far smaller than you would think."

Lindsay Rutland-Dix's tips for boosting office morale:

1) Just do it - get the most challenging things out of the way first and then breeze through the rest of your day knowing you have already done a good job.

2) Kick-start the week - extra time in bed might be tempting on a Monday morning, but getting up and walking or cycling to work gives you time to gather your thoughts and prepare for the week ahead.

3) Shine a light on it - fit desk lamps with SADS bulbs to overcome lack of natural daylight in winter.

4) Smelling of roses - fresh flowers on desks will override any less savoury office smells, while the scent can act as the catalyst for a more positive mood.

5) Coffee mate - have a coffee with a different colleague each week. It's easy to lose the human touch when all office correspondence is done via email.

6) Take a walk in the park - get out in the fresh air during your lunch break and find something natural to appreciate.

7) Name it - make a conscious effort to remember and use people's names, it is the most personal and effective way to make someone feel special.

8) Lighten up - set aside an hour a week for something light-hearted such as an office quiz, it helps everyone let go of unwanted tension.

9) Bach effect - classical music playing in the background can be calming and boost concentration.

10) Smile - you'll feel better and so will the people you smile at.

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