Helping employees to beat the Winter blues isn’t only good for them, but also for the business too. With such a great Summer this year it’ill be that little bit harder when the nights start to roll in and things get colder. Here’s what your employees can do to stay happy and productive.
Encourage annual leave to get some Winter sun
One main factor which contributes to that feeling we get in Winter is the lack of sun in our lives. To counteract this encourage employees to take a few days off to get away in the sun and to soak up some vitamin D. If they’re unable to go abroad and enjoy some Winter warmth then they should at least just get away for a few days to relax.
Always remember sun safety, wear sun screen and moderate the time spent in direct sunshine.
Taking a break is great for wellbeing and productivity, leaving employees refreshed and ready for their return to work. Spare annual leave days can be used before the holiday year rollover too.
Organise social events
Encouraging social events and interaction is great for morale, employee relationships and your employer brand. Anything from sporting activities to a dinner club will help to keep your workforce happy and cohesive.
You could even start a work social club which runs regular events throughout the year, not just in the Winter months.
Create an exercise initiative
Running an initiative to encourage exercise is a great way to help your employees through Winter, as well as keeping them healthy and active. Using wearable tech such as fitness bands or smart watches offers plenty of options as to the concept and there are ideas all over the internet as to interesting ways to keep your staff on the move.
Last year we ran a virtual walk here at CIPHR and used pedometers to track the progress of teams across the UK. It was great for morale, engagement and collaboration.
Provide a place to make hot meals (even if it’s just a microwave)
Ensuring that there’s a place where hot food can be prepared will enable your employees to get the fuel they need to give you 100% all day long.
Offer flexible working
Arriving and leaving the office in the dark isn’t pleasant for anyone. One solution is to allow employees to to start and finish earlier, this may not mean that they arrive in the daylight, but they might leave with some left.
Having the flexibility to leave earlier also means a quieter journey home which is less stressful and usually quicker.
Encourage car share schemes
Starting a car share scheme is not only good for the environment, but also encourages social interaction and is safer during the darker, icy evenings. Not having to make the journey to and from work alone should make most people happier and also feel a little safer.
Encourage foods rich in Vitamin D and C
As mentioned above one of the reasons we feel happier and more active during the summer is due to the vitamin D that the sun provides. In the Winter, when sunshine is less abundant, it’s possible to substitute vitamin D with certain foods. A healthy workforce is a happy workforce, foods high in vitamin C will help to keep the bugs and colds at bay. This not only means that employees are healthier but also likely to take less time off ill, reducing absence costs.
Foods rich in vitamins D and C include:
- Fatty fish, like tuna, mackerel, and salmon
- Foods fortified with vitamin D, like some dairy products, orange juice, soy milk, and cereals
- Beef liver
- Egg yolks
- Oranges and orange juice
- Red and green peppers
- Brussels sprouts
Remember to also take note of the other nutritional information regarding the above foods.