42% believe winter has negative impact on mental wellbeing

Jitesh Patel

More than two-fifths (42%) of respondents believe that winter has a negative effect on their mental wellbeing, according to research by Peldon Rose.

Its survey of 500 UK office-based employees also found that 45% of respondents feel that winter adversely affects their motivation, while 34% think the colder weather impacts their productivity.

The research also found:

  • 50% of employees state that winter adversely affects their mood, with 35% identifying themselves as suffering, or having suffered, from seasonal affective disorder (SAD), and 55% feeling that they wish to take a sick day during the winter months.
  • 56% of respondents feel unappreciated or only sometimes appreciated by their organisation.
  • 31% of respondents believe the office environment has a negative impact on their happiness and wellbeing.
  • 87% of respondents think that an open culture, which encourages honest dialogue about mental health benefits, is the most valuable contribution to employee wellbeing. Other factors that are considered valuable to employee wellbeing include a good heating system (96%), exposure to natural light (94%), social breakout space (92%), and quiet settings (87%).
  • 50% of respondents do not feel like they can open up to their colleagues about their mental health.
  • 44% of respondents do not have quiet areas at work to retreat to if they wish.

Jitesh Patel (pictured), chief executive officer at Peldon Rose, said: “Although identifying Blue Monday [15 January] as the most depressing day of the year may be as much art as science, our survey reveals that Blue Monday does hold a grain of truth, that both mental and physical health is affected by our work environment.

“Blue Monday gives us an opportunity to talk about health and wellbeing and the steps we can take to protect it in the workplace. The first initiative is for businesses to properly understand and then meet employee needs such as good heating, exposure to natural light, office facilities and opportunities to get people more physically active. Then businesses should tailor the workplace and office environment around them and their identified needs. By doing this, it will help improve wellbeing and mood and, ultimately, help boost productivity.”