Seasonal affective disorder (SAD), otherwise known as the ‘winter blues’, affects around two million people across the UK. Triggered by a hormonal imbalance due to shorter days and long winter nights, SAD is a type of depression that affects people primarily during the winter months of December, January and February.
Recognising SAD in the workplace
The first step towards supporting staff suffering from seasonal depression is recognising the signs. Businesses may find that employees with SAD:
• Call in sick more regularly
• Find it difficult to concentrate on tasks
• Are unmotivated or apathetic towards their work
• Struggle to maintain their usual levels of productivity.
Businesses are becoming much more aware of the importance of looking after their employees’ mental, as well as physical, health. Supporting your staff through SAD and promoting good mental health could really make a difference this winter. But how?
• Adjusted working hours to allow your employee to make the most of the natural daylight
• Invest in a light therapy box if your employee can’t get outside
• Create a culture of openness so that employees feel able to share their difficulties and ask for help.