With the winter blues creeping in on us, searches for seasonal affective disorder have increased by 500%. This can create feelings of lethargy, irritability and increase difficulty in concentration levels among employees, which can impact performance at work.
With the colder months capable of having an impact on productivity in the workplace, which features can help boost employee performance? With this in mind, Savoy Stewart teams up with experts at Brainworks Neurotherapy and Hillary’s to reveal how to encourage your employees to be more productive during winter.
Transform Your Office Environment
1. Change the Office Layout
With people spending hours at a time in one space at work, the layout of the office is essential for encouraging productivity and collaboration with others.
James Roy, on behalf of Brainworks Neurotherapy comments: “Exposure to natural light is essential for supporting your hormonal system. This is because the amount of light that enters your eyes during these times directly influences the production and regulation of hormones in your body, such as serotonin, melatonin and cortisol, which play a critical role in mood and sleep patterns. This effectiveness extends even to areas with cloudy weather, as the light can penetrate through clouds.”
2. Remove Any Potential Distractions
Reducing excessive noise and clutter can make a huge difference to an employee’s day-to-day productivity. Incorporating ‘quiet spaces’, organising dedicated work areas and setting expectations will help both the business and employee’s success.
Senior Product Manager, Yvonne Keal, at Hillary’s home store, spoke on how to combat distractions in the office: “A cluttered physical space equals a cluttered mental space, so remove any unnecessary items from your office to maintain concentration of your workforce. Dim lighting can also make employee’s feel tired, unfocused and increase their chances of headaches, therefore placing desks perpendicular to a window will be best to ensure there is constant natural light available throughout the day.”
3. Invest in Employee Comfort
Ensuring all employees feel comfortable should be a top priority whilst owning a business; failing to focus on this can cause musculoskeletal disorders and chronic pain which in turn, results in distraction and potential sick leave. Investing in heightened desks, supportive chairs and other tools should be considered of utmost importance.
Tips for Encouraging Employee Productivity in the Office
1. Incorporate Colour into the Work Space
Colours are thought to influence many of our choices, moods and behaviours. With many offices typically using bland tones such as white and grey, there are many different shades that can improve and increase employee productivity levels.
Yvonne Keal, on behalf of Hillary’s home store comments: “Light and airy pastel shades such as pinks, dusty yellow, lilacs and mint greens are great colours to incorporate into the office in winter as they promote calmness and can help release any built up tension which still allows creative juices to flow. The colours will influence your employee’s mood and mind-set in a more positive way, whether a whole area is painted or a pop of colour is added to individual desks, bright colours are proven to activate serotonin levels inside the brain making workers feel more energised.”
2. Add Life Through Greenery
Adding greenery such as plants to an office can hold huge benefits for work life. With reports suggesting that plants are capable of reducing stress and increasing productivity levels, they can also clean the air within an office and help filter out allergens.
Two plants that are great for boosting productivity levels are Bamboo Palm which is famous for its pollution reducing abilities, increasing easy breathing and can promote clear-thinking – Perfect for a long workday. Whilst the Golden Pothos has similar powers, it can also remove unfavourable smells, keeping your airways clean and leaving no room for distractions.
3. Encourage Employees to Take Breaks
Whilst the office area can be a high pressure environment, allowing breaks throughout the day can have huge benefits. Studies have shown that regular breaks are great for boosting performance and energy levels, finding that taking mini breaks consistently can support wellbeing and increase productivity, even if employees take just a few minutes away from their assigned desk.
4. Brighten Up the Walls
Many offices are plain and lacking ‘life’ to their interior. Adding artwork that is personal to your employees that adds a natural boost of positivity can be great for restoring mental energy and influencing emotions, such as happiness.
Images of nature have been found to help with work frustrations, whilst artwork from favoured artists can bring a sense of connection. Small, framed pieces, stickers, posters or photographs all add a fun element, as long as they don’t create any potential distraction to those working.
Savoy Stewart are a firm of Commercial Surveyors, Property Consultants, Estate Agents and Valuers.
Brainworks Neurotherapy are among the world’s leading pioneers in neurofeedback and brain training technologies.
Hillary’s measure, make and fit custom curtains, shutters and blinds.