How to Improve Employee Wellbeing this Winter

I know I don’t have to tell anybody this, but if you didn’t already know–and feel it–we spend the majority of our lives at work. According to CNN Money, Americans work an average of 34.4 hours per week–longer than their counterparts in the world’s largest economies–and the average full-time-working adult spends 47 hours per week at work.

So, with all that time spent at the office, it can be easy for employee’s interest, happiness, and quality of work to deplete. That’s why companies are starting to introduce employee wellbeing programs to help their teams get over the hurdles of life–especially at this time of the year when everyone’s SAD kicks in.

What is SAD?

Seasonal Affective Disorder, otherwise known as SAD, is a type of depression that’s related to seasonal changes. If you don’t experience it yourself, congratulations, but if you do, you know it begins around the start of fall and continues through the winter months. Some signs that your employees may be experiencing SAD are: feeling depressed, losing interest, low energy, problems sleeping, changes in appetite or weight, feeling sluggish, difficulty concentrating, feeling hopeless, and frequent thoughts of suicide or death.

If you’re seeing those signs, even in their most infant stages, it may be time to introduce some employee wellbeing initiatives at your office.

What is employee wellbeing?

Employee wellbeing is about how your job affects your overall health and happiness. And when your employees spend a lot of time at work, it’s easy for their health and happiness to decline. Don’t blame yourself, it happens to everyone literally everywhere. However, if you don’t do something about it, your company can start to hurt.

In order to avoid that hurt, HR experts are starting to introduce wellbeing programs that focus not only on exercise and nutrition, but also mood, cognition, and other intangible considerations. And, according to Delivering Happiness, organizations are beginning to focus on giving employees a sense of purpose–something we all are searching for.

Purpose is the highest level of happiness; it’s what most people look for when they are searching for a job. So, what’s the best way to give your team a sense of purpose? Infuse your culture with more employee wellbeing ingenuity!

And if you don’t believe that wellbeing is the trend of the year, take a look at Pantone’s color of the year: Living Coral (Shout out to all of my talent branding buffs out there!). Compared to last year’s Ultra Violet, 2019’s color is more chill, more therapeutic, and more joyful. Pantone said the color mimics human connection with its “nurturing” and “nourishing” qualities.

So, here’s how you can make your office more chill, therapeutic, and overall well, without painting the whole place coral.

  1. Promote mental health awareness

This, in my opinion, is the most important of all. Only recently has the stigma surrounding mental health started to dissipate–finally. So, encourage your employees to seek help if they need it. If they feel encouraged by their employer, they’re more likely to follow through, which means their work will begin to improve and they’ll find what they do more meaningful.

  1. Start fitness challenges

Fitness challenges promote friendly competition in your office, and nothing is more motivating than wanting to win–especially if there’s an incentive! It will also help your team learn new ways to work together and connect on different levels. Also, fitness challenges are usually free, so it’s a win-win for all.

  1. Encourage employee hangouts

Nothing says friendship like a happy hour after a long day at work. Heck, it doesn’t even have to be happy hour. Take your team out to a movie, sporting event, or even throw a dinner party–just make sure no one ruins your plasma screen TV.

  1. Hold meetings outside of the office

Start doing walk-and-talks! A change of location can be a much-welcomed reprieve from the normal day–plus, you get to add a little movement to your otherwise stagnant day.

  1. Support flexible work days

Put a stop to your team’s burnout by allowing them to have telework days. Not only does it free up at least two hours of sitting in traffic–maybe more if you’re in a city like Atlanta–but it also gives employees a calmer start to their day, which will show in their work. The pros to remote working days are too many to mention, so you can find more here!

Now that you have the inside scoop, it’s time to put an end to your employees’ SAD-ness. Implementing these wellbeing initiatives will not only help employees feel satisfied with work and life, but it will also help your company be more successful!

Let’s go slay the workday.


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