Most of us look forward to snoozing an extra hour once a year when daylight-saving time ends. However, for many people, that additional hour of sleep is where the positive effects stop. When you add the season’s colder temps and bitter weather to its darker, shorter days, you’ve got the perfect recipe for the blues. With increasing evidence that employee happiness is tied to productivity, that’s probably a recipe your business wants to avoid. That’s why we’ve gathered these tips to help your workforce stay happy and healthy in the coming months.*
- Organizing company sports leagues is a great way to get employees’ blood pumping, and you get the bonus of team building! Try introducing your employees to a unique sport like curling or broomball. For those that don’t like to compete, check out group fitness classes offered in your area.
- There are also plenty of small steps — from taking the stairs to parking in the back forty — you can encourage to increase physical activity during the workday. Check out our previous article for advice on how add more mobility in the office.
Build workplace friendships.
Friendships can be a powerful force when it comes to increasing happiness and productivity, especially workplace bonds. Find ways to help bring your employees together in and outside of the office. Here are some ideas to get you started:
- Keep tabs on local events and organize a monthly outing
- Start a book club that meets during lunchtime
- Provide board games for your break/lunch rooms
- Find volunteer events employees can sign up for together
- Pair up new hires with a buddy or two with common interests
Take advantage of the sun (when it’s out).
The sun can be harder to find in the cooler months, but that makes it even more important to catch rays when you can. Sunlight could increase the brain’s production of serotonin, which is associated with mood boosting benefits. In fact, a lack of sun exposure has been linked to major seasonal depression. To help combat the darkness at the office, keep the blinds open and arrange work stations to receive as much natural light as possible. If it’s a particularly sunny day, encourage employees to get out for their lunchbreak to soak up some extra sun.
Don’t wait to seek help.
It’s estimated that 10 million Americans suffer from seasonal affective disorder (SAD), often referred to as the winter blues. If employees start to feel symptoms of SAD or major depression, urge them to seek professional help. The good news: There are several treatment options available, and a doctor can help find the right path to recovery.
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*These tips are not meant to be taken as medical advice or as treatment for depression. If you or your employees are suffering from a mental illness, please seek professional help.