Christmas is coming and while many businesses are winding down their operations to accommodate the holiday season, others are ramping up to keep apace with the influx of seasonal demand. If your business is one of the latter you may currently be tearing your hair out at the perceived slump in productivity in your workplace as winter sets in. Don’t take it personally! Many of your employees may be affected by Seasonal Affective Disorder which is known to reduce energy levels and impair concentration. It’s a common occurrence around this time of year but by no means is it one to which employers must resign themselves. Access to natural light, proximity to grass, plants and flowers, loading your cafeteria with mood boosting foods and doing your best to maintain a cheerful, supportive environment are all helpful in giving the workplace a morale boost.
Seasonal sadness aside, there are some other factors that may impact on your employees productivity and their job satisfaction. As their employer and leader it’s your responsibility to address them.
1. They Are Tired
Office culture has perpetuated the culture of being in work mode from 9am to 5pm (or even 8am to 6pm in some businesses). Unfortunately, the human brain just doesn’t work that way. Our minds are better suited to short, intense bursts of activity followed by brief rest periods. If you’re noticing a slump in productivity after a few hours and an increase in off task behaviour such as online shopping and social media use it’s up to you to do something to combat these signs of fatigue.
2. They Are Hungry / Dehydrated
If our brains aren’t suited to the 9 to 5 they’e certainly not suited to the concept of lunch breaks. After a few hours at work our blood sugar dips, making us sluggish, unable to concentrate and quick to mood swings. Make sure that each and every employee has access to healthy snacks and clean drinking water at all times. Make sure that your on site or outsourced caterer has a range of healthy foods that will boost brain activity and reduce sluggishness. Check out https://www.abmcatering.co.uk for an example of a caterer that does this. Doing away with sugary, fatty and salty processed foods (which cause blood sugar to spike then plummet) is also a step in the right direction.
3. They Are Bored
Every business operation involves a modicum of boring or repetitive tasks and there’s no way around that. What you can do, however, is reduce the productivity slump that comes with boredom by reducing employee time spent on these activities or sharing these duties more equally amongst the team.
4. They Are Distracted
Unfortunately the holiday season is an emotionally difficult time for many of us. Those who have been afflicted by loss or who just aren’t as happy in their lives as they’d like to be find that their problems are compounded by the enforced joviality of the holiday season. It would be naive and inconsiderate to expect this not to spill into the workplace. For this reason it’s important to have a culture of openness and supportiveness in the workplace and your door should always be open to employees who want to talk about their problems.