Did you notice how your employees are less productive during winter? Is this becoming a pattern? Science tells us that seasonal affective disorder (SAD) is a real thing that comes and goes depending on the season. During winter, about 10 million Americans are affected by SAD. It can impact work productivity, relationships, and many other things. Another study said that more than 20% of the population can suffer from what it calls winter blues, a mood precipitated by the lack of daylight and the presence of cold temperatures and extreme weather conditions.
What are the signs that your office is suffering from winter blues? There is increased absenteeism, inability to concentrate, fatigue, illnesses, and even depression. Some companies even experience a large turnover rate during winter months as their employees fall into traps of loneliness, frustration, and exhaustion.
Luckily, employers can help keep productivity afloat amid winter blues. Since winter in most Western states covers the first quarter of the year, the last thing you want is an unproductive workforce when you are trying to kick off the year with a positive start. Committing to doing something to fight against winter blues and seasonal slumps needs to start from the very top of the organization.
Make Your Workplace a Safe and Inviting Space
A lot of accidents happen during winter. People will fall, slide, and slip on ice. This affects the security of your workforce and will make the vulnerable among them feel unsafe. One of the first things you have to do is ensure that your employees are safe and secure when going to and from work. Among other things, you have to call a commercial snow removal company to safely pave the pathway leading to the entrance and parking lot.
Break the Routine
What happens in the morning in your office? Do you hold a meeting? Do you make evaluations on Fridays? Break the routine in the office. One of the reasons why your employees are less productive during winter is because the cold temperature makes them feel lethargic. If they are doing the same thing every day, that will add to that lethargy and exhaustion of being in a rut. Whether it’s encouraging them to go to the gym, take up yoga, or work from home in some cases, it’s essential to give your employees the freedom to break the routine.
Add Plants to Your Office Space
Simply adding plants to your office can help beat winter blues away. Plants have such a positive impact on one’s mood that workplaces that integrated greenery in the office are found to be more productive and cost-efficient. It’s the same results found in patients who have to stay longer in the hospital. Experts recommend putting plants in hospital rooms to create a more relaxing atmosphere for the patients.
Challenge Your Employees with New Tasks
Lack of challenges is demotivating. They will leave the employees uninspired to work harder and better. During the winter season, work harder to get more clients and projects. These will set new goals for your employees to reach. Avoid monotonous routines. But remember that this strategy may not work for all employees, so make sure to evaluate each to determine the right course of action for them.
Consider Cross-training Your Employees
Cross-training involves teaching your employees different skills in the hopes that they can contribute more to the company. Learning is an instant motivator. It will keep them on their toes. It also benefits the company since employees can take over other tasks when they get sick or are absent from work.
Set an Example to Your Employees
You cannot expect your employees to give 100% of themselves if they don’t see it from you. Require everyone in your top management to lead by example. Simply arriving in the office early, finishing tasks, and being one of the last ones to leave will show your dedication and sacrifice. It is far easier for them to motivate themselves to do the same when they see that you are making the same sacrifices.
Helping yourself and your workers be even more productive during winter will result in a more engaged and happier workforce. You do not even need to spend thousands of dollars to help the team deal with winter blues. It’s just important that you will be the one to take the helm. Because while employees certainly care about the future of their organizations, none will care for it as much as you do.