Advice on helping employees beat the back to work blues
As employees everywhere return to normality after the Christmas break and New Year’s Eve festivities, it’s normal for moods to seem a bit low around the office.
This can be due to a number of things returning to work after having had such a long, luxurious time off with loved ones and being forced back into a dreary commute; empty pockets after splashing out over Christmas and the holidays; the dark and gloomy outside world after all the festive lights have been taken down.
So, what can employers do to tackle this problem head on? The first thing worth noting is that the winter blues are very much a real thing and if you want the best work out of your employees, it’s worth taking it seriously.
What causes SAD
SAD stands for Seasonal Affective Disorder, and according to the NHS the common theory is that low moods in the winter months are caused by the way the human body responds to daylight.
The suggestion is that shorter daylight hours means some people produce higher levels of melatonin, which can cause the symptoms of depression.
This is bad news for employees? health and wellbeing, especially when there are many other factors contributing to this time of year being particularly hard. it’s also bad news for a company’s bottom line if its employees are less productive than usual.
Top tips for winter mental health
There is of course a difference between an employee feeling a bit down because theyve spent all their cash and suffering from a real mental health problem, such as depression. Sometimes, it may be appropriate to steer an employee towards professional advice.
Letitia Booty is a special projects journalist for Business Advice. She has a BA in English Literature from the University of East Anglia, and since graduating she has written for a variety of trade titles. Most recently, she was a reporter at SME magazine.