Winter can be a cold, tough time for everyone getting to work before the sun comes up and going home after it has gone down. Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) symptoms including depression, sleep problems, lethargy and anxiety (and grumpiness!). So how can you as an employer ensure that morale and motivation stay at high levels during the winter months?
Ensure your employees have a break outdoors during the day
It is easy to work through lunch or grab a quick bite at your desk. However, this means we really are missing out on the chance of seeing any daylight hours. Even a short ten-minute stroll outdoors can lift the spirits and refresh the brain.
Make sure the office is well lit and not too hot!
Having low levels of lighting will only lead to increased SAD symptoms. Ensure that your workplace is well lit at all times to reduce feelings of lethargy. Make sure that windows are kept clean and as much natural light is entering the office as possible. Also on a nice sunny day let the air come in. Make sure your office temperature is between 18-22 degrees this winter, and in more active occupations between 16-19 degrees. The humidity should be between 40-70%.
Exercise naturally releases endorphins, improving moods and lifting spirits. Educate all employees about the advantages of leading a healthy lifestyle through exercise. Exercise has many advantages including getting everyone up and active, team building, helping a good cause, raising organisational profile through free publicity, getting everyone out of the office during lunchtime which leads back to better focus and productivity in the afternoon.
Encourage healthy eating
Eating high levels of carbohydrates, such as pies, pasties, white bread and other starchy products, can lead to high levels of lethargy. Encourage your employees to eat lots of fresh fruit and vegetables, to improve energy levels. How about supplying free fruit one day a week in your lunchroom? Consider looking at your wellness plan for your staff over the winter months. It will be well worth the energy when you see improved levels of motivation and morale, productivity and performance will also increase, while turnover and absences will naturally decrease.
Lara | People Guru