How to Avoid Winter Hibernation on Remote Teams


Bears hibernate in the winter. And some of us, well, we’d like to hibernate, too. You know, cuddle up in a snuggie with a good book and a cup of coffee. See you in April!

For remote workers, it can be particularly tempting to close your front door and wait to reemerge when the temps break 60 again. But if you want to avoid hibernation this winter, here’s a few ideas to keep you awake and joyful.

Import your sunlight.

Cloudy days got you down? We need sunlight to be healthy and happy. If the winter grey is leading you to “Seasonal Affective Disorder” (SAD), you can try some thing to address it head-on. One is to invest in a light lamp that replicates sunlight. Leadership guru Michael Hyatt recommends this one, which he uses 30 minutes a day to boost energy and improve sleep.

Schedule times to leave the house.

If you’re used to working from home, there’s rarely going to be a dark and cold day that you think, “I’d like to get out today.” So plan it into your schedule. Choose a day to work at a coffee shop and invite a friend to join you. Join a co-working space for the winter months and get to know some other independent or remote workers.

You explorations outside the house don’t have to just be work-related. Participate in a civic or church activity, commit to an exercise class, or join a local book club or gaming group. Just find something you enjoy and put it on the calendar to make sure you leave the house on a regular basis.

Take an afternoon coffee.

Coffee after lunch is popular in many places around the world. But this warm recharge can be a perfect reboot for a slow, hibernate-y sort of day. Get a quick jolt of caffeine and maybe walk around a little bit to get the blood pumping. Here’s a few more reasons to break for coffee in the afternoon.

Be quick to jump on a call.

If someone on your team seems to low energy or living in the proverbial cave during the winter, switch things up in your communications. Hop on a video chat or reach out for casual text chatting. People may naturally be more energized at other times of the year, so make the effort to keep conversation happening and check in with your teammates.

Take a trip.

If your company allows it, take advantage of working remotely to work somewhere warm during the winter. Need help pitching the idea to your boss? Here’s some tips. And of course if you need some ideas of where to go, may I suggest Mexico, the Caribbean, or Southeast Asia? And finally, have a whole lot of fun!

Do you lean towards hibernation in the winter? What are you tips for staying energized and engaged this time of year?