Curbing the Effects of the Winter Blues


After all the hustle and bustle of the holidays, returning to work can be daunting. For many of us, the winter has held its grip on us for far too long. Unfortunately, nothing can be done about the weather, but there are many things that can be done regarding how the weather affects us. As soon as daylight savings ends, people complain about how dark it is and how cold it is and how miserable they are. And this complaining can carry over into the workday, making employees more tired and easily irritable. But there are steps employers and employees can take to curb these side effects of the winter blues.

When energy levels are low in the winter, employers may see a decrease in productivity and employee performance. In order to counteract these effects, employers need to get creative when looking for solutions. Upping the caffeine availability won’t do the trick.

In his article Tips for Overcoming the Winter Blues at Work, Andrew Jensen suggests that bosses can give employees the afternoon off occasionally for a recharge. Of course, if you live in an area affected by snow or ice days, this would not have the same effect. Instead, encourage them to take a break and go outside for fresh air and sunlight.

Meetings should be held in bright rooms, preferably with natural light, but if the day is gloomy, make sure the room is well lit. And appeal to their basic needs- make sure you offer plenty of drinking water and provide fruits, juices and other nutrient rich foods to boost vitamin intake.

Although the employer can help combat the effect of winter blues, they should not be looked to as the sole provider of remedies. Employees can take their fate in their own hands in order to stay stimulated. New activities can help battle fatigue and adds variety in your life. You can also make small goals and rewards for accomplishing tasks that are difficult in the winter months like going to the gym.

At work, if you are in a slump, take a break from the task at hand and clean or organize your office or workstation. Stay hydrated and include warm drinks to help maintain a consistent body temperature. Do you best to eat healthy foods even though your body is screaming at you to carb load. Healthy foods will supply you with any needed nutrients you are not getting from sunshine or fresh produce readily available in warmer months. And although sleeping should not be a problem when it’s darker outside, make sure you are receiving an adequate amount that will replenish your energy level and allow you to be able to get plenty of exercise, another way to combat the winter blues.


The Culture Counts blog is a discussion of law firm culture and legal innovation, including topics such as effective leadership, employee engagement, workplace culture, ideal work environment, company core values, and workplace productivity.  

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