Have you been noticing a general lack of energy among your employees during the winter months? A lot of employers do, and if you think about it, it makes sense. While there are certainly some things to look forward to during this season, like snow sports and various holiday festivities, these unfortunately don’t make up for some of the more negative aspects of winter. Shorter days, a lack of sunlight, and of course cold and flu bugs going around could all be contributing to your staff’s winter blues. And if you leave it unchecked, this may lead to decreased motivation and productivity around the office, which can ultimately affect your bottom line.
So, as an employer, what can you do? Can you really fight against these physically and mentally draining aspects of winter?
Well, you’ll be happy to know that with the right tools at your disposal, you can indeed make a difference. Follow along for some advice on how to boost employee wellbeing during winter.
Allow for a Flexible Work Environment
Winter is known as cold and flu season, so you’re likely going to have some sick employees on your hands at some point. While some of them will be happy to stay home for the duration of their recovery, others may be keen to get back to the office the second they begin to feel better, even if they’re still showing symptoms. This can not only prolong their recovery, but also cause them to spread the illness to others in the office, which can lead to large scale absenteeism and diminish productivity.
Fortunately, if we’ve learned anything from the pandemic, it’s that a lot of positions can be done remotely without affecting business as usual. Provided that your employees have access to the equipment and information they need at home, then it would be a good idea to give them the option of staying there until they have fully recovered from their illness.
Get Everyone Moving
It’s easy for people to slip into hibernation mode during the winter, but it’s not the best for their health. Everyone knows that physical activity is important for both the mind and the body, so it’s important to encourage your employees to stay active.
Consider creating some opportunities to get everyone moving at work. For example, challenge everyone to take the stairs instead of the elevator or hire a yoga instructor to lead a class during the day. If you don’t think that your staff will go for it, then add in some incentives to encourage participation, like they get to leave an hour early one day.
Encourage a Healthy Diet
A lot of unhealthy comfort foods seem to be quite popular in the wintertime, especially around the holidays. It can be hard to say no to all the delicious meals and baked goods, even if they can lead to weight gain and a weakened immune system from a lack of nutrients.
You certainly can’t control what your employees eat this time of year, but you can encourage them to choose healthier options. Consider replacing some of the junk food in the vending machines with fruits and nuts, and instead of bringing in donuts or pizza as a treat, try a veggie tray or wraps.