Seasonal changes affect many, but by no means all of us. Clearly any degree of seasonal change depends on where in the world you are based.
For trainees working in climates that are relatively warm and sunny all year round, seasonal changes will be minimal and productivity less affected unless temperatures rise to extortionate levels. For those working in countries that experience greater seasonal changes, the effects will be more profound.
Many trainees struggle to feel as proactive and productive when it is cold and dark. Energy levels tend to fall when it is colder, darker and wetter, making us become less active. And the less activity you do, the less productive you end up feeling.
In warm weather, we are likely to go for a run, walk or cycle before, during or after work.
This kind of activity, combined with exposure to the sun, also boosts our natural vitamin D levels which, in turn, boosts our energy levels. During colder snaps, we can be tempted to drift towards poorer eating habits as warm and filling comfort foods are more tempting.
As a combination, less exercise, less vitamin D and heavier food can contribute to your overall happiness and energy levels decreasing.
‘The environment people work in is vital to yield good productivity,’ says Luci Parkins, recruitment consultant – public practice audit and accountancy, Morgan McKinley. ‘Seasonal changes can affect productivity and it is important to find other methods of motivation for yourself and the wider team.’
A bright workplace that is full of natural and artificial light can be beneficial. Be sure to open blinds and if any lights are dim or not working, then alert your line manager in order to have them repaired. Having a light and open workspace will do wonders for your productivity and you won’t feel so tired and burnt out as a result.
Parkins concurs: ‘During cooler and darker seasons, offices should be well maintained – this includes sufficient lighting and temperature. Offices and other working environments being either too hot or cold can be a distraction for employees to work to their full effect; there should be a balance in place.’
There are several other ways to consider combatting seasonal fatigue.
Try to ensure you are taking on board the vitamins that you might be lacking during winter to ensure you stay as healthy as possible. Also, look to ensure your productivity levels are maintained by drawing up daily and weekly tasks to ensure you maintain your output levels.
The mindset that you go into work with will determine how much you get done and how productive you are. Setting yourself realistic tasks to complete each day is important to provide yourself with a feeling of accomplishment.
Despite the less attractive weather, do try to get outside as much as you can, even if only for brief walks – you will feel more refreshed and ready to work when you arrive back at the office.
Author: Alex Miller, writer