Thirty-four per cent of office workers believe that winter affects their productivity, according to the results of a survey by workplace consultant Peldon Rose.
The survey found that the workplace contributes to the ‘depressed mood’ with most employees (56 per cent) saying “they feel unappreciated or only sometimes appreciated by their company” and 31 per cent believe their office environment has a negative effect on their well-being – 54 per cent specifically stating that a cold office negatively affects their mood.
To rejuvenate employees and help them beat the winter blues here are five key steps businesses can follow.
Some 96 per cent of employees consider a good heating system the most important factor in supporting their mental health and well-being at work. Shorter days (57 per cent), cold weather (57 per cent) and a cold office (54 per cent) are rated as the top three negative impacts on mood in the winter, so employers need to ensure that the office is at a temperature suitable for employees.
Exposure to natural light
Nine out of 10 employees (94 per cent) say exposure to natural light is important to their well-being. Wherever possible, businesses should introduce natural light into the workplace, remove obstacles obstructing light and reconfigure furniture to gain optimum natural light.
Some 92 per cent of employees believe that social spaces are valuable to supporting healthy mental well-being. Workplaces that encourage bringing people together and building friendships will help improve employee well-being in the office.
Although 87 per cent of workers say that quiet areas support their well-being at work, 44 per cent say they do not have these areas to retreat to. To ensure that everyone’s needs are supported, businesses should create a range of spaces that staff can enjoy according to their personality type, mood and work.
An open and honest dialogue about mental health is valued by most respondents (87 per cent), yet half (50 per cent) do not feel that they can open up to their colleagues about this. Creating an open culture should start from the top down to encourage sharing and help improve employee well-being.
When considering an office design, businesses should ideally tailor the workplace and office environment around them and their identified needs. This will help to improve wellbeing and mood and ultimately boost productivity.