Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), also known as winter depression is a type of depression linked to the seasons. More apparent in the winter months, sufferers start to feel lethargic, irritable and depressed around this time of year and it can last until Spring.
The exact cause of SAD is not fully understood, but it is thought to be linked to reduced exposure to sunlight and its effect on your natural circadian rhythm, as well as hormones balance.
Anyone who feels that they may be suffering from SAD should visit their doctor as there are effective treatments available; from light therapy, lifestyle changes to maximise exposure to sunlight, as well as counselling and anti-depressant medication. But there are measures that employers can take to minimise the effects of reduced sunlight during the winter months. After all, a happy workforce is a productive one.
Top tips for improving the mood in your office this winter.
The importance of providing a comfortable and inspiring workplace cannot be over-estimated. We all know about the need for adequate lighting and heating, but what about cleaning, exercise and social interactions? By fostering a sense of well-being in your workplace, staff will be more engaged, productive and loyal.
Maximise exposure to day light
Try to maximise employee’s exposure to what little daylight there is. Open the blinds, encourage people to take a walk outside during their lunch break. These simple measures don’t cost anything and can make a real difference.
Improve artificial light
Good quality artificial lighting can make a real difference to people’s mood. Broken and flickering fluorescent tubes paint a depressing picture, whereas well-lit offices with a natural or slightly warm colour temperature help to create a comfortable working environment. Consider LED bulbs to improve your office lighting, as well as save you money on energy bills.
Keep the office clean
Make sure that your office is well cleaned and maintained. Regular, professional standards of cleaning will help to make your office a more pleasant and healthy place to be. Winter is cold and flu season and thorough cleaning can help to prevent outbreaks such as norovirus from sweeping though the office.
Increase social interactions
Introduce small, fun activities to keep moral high. Ideas such as Monday morning breakfast club where you lay on croissants, fruit, juice and coffee, or surprise afternoon tea and cakes are not only pleasant activities, but they are team building and help to keep moral high.
Consider allowing duvet days
The more liberally minded companies now offer their employees one or two ‘duvet days’ a year. These are effectively free passes to take a day off at short notice. We all experience those days when we wake up and can’t face coming into work. Instead of faking illness or coming in and being unproductive and resentful, a duvet day forgoes with the pretence and acknowledge that people sometimes need that support and will return to work refreshed and grateful.
Office cleaning specialists
Our commercial cleaning services are designed to help keep your office and therefore staff well-being in top condition. To learn more about our office cleaning services, please call us on 0800 4488026.