Benefits could help tackle winter blues

Employers could use benefits to help counter employee blues following a wet summer and the approaching winter.

As the the wettest since 1914, this summer may increase the likelihood of employees suffering from Seasonal Affective Disorder. To try to prevent an ensuing drop in productivity, Croner is urging employers to consider introducing winter flexible working so that staff can leave early on a Friday. It also suggests offering subsidised local gym membership (so that employees incorporate exercise into their daily routine) and arranging onsite health screening in order to help beat the blues.

Gillian Dowling, employment technical consultant at Croner, said: “This year, businesses are experiencing these symptoms earlier than usual because we didn’t have the uplifting sunny summer that normally helps employees get through the frosty September to February period. We therefore expect to see an even larger drop in productivity.

“Although it’s important to note that employers have no responsibility to raise the ‘mood’ of the office, we would advise that [employers] make sure they are aware of any significant drops in staff morale as this will impact their business’s performance.”