As winter settles in, a recent survey has unveiled that a significant majority, two-thirds to be precise, of workers are experiencing a dip in productivity during the colder months.
The study sheds light on several factors contributing to this seasonal decline, including adverse weather conditions, a lack of natural light, and holiday-related distractions.
The gloomy and often miserable days associated with winter can take a toll on productivity, particularly for the 44 percent of workers who, as reported by the Office for National Statistics (ONS), continue to work remotely in 2023. Despite a reported 94 percent of employers stating that work productivity has remained the same or even increased since the shift to remote work, not everyone has found this arrangement conducive to peak performance. According to a separate study, 30.2 percent of respondents felt their productivity had decreased since transitioning to remote work.
To delve deeper into the causes behind this winter slump, Toughened Glass Systems conducted a survey asking UK workers about the factors affecting their productivity during the colder months.
The findings revealed the following key contributors:
- Cold Weather: One in three UK workers identified cold weather as the primary factor hindering their productivity during winter.
- Lack of Natural Light: Approximately one-fifth of respondents expressed that the limited availability of natural light during winter negatively impacted their ability to concentrate on work.
- Increased Illness: Just under 30 percent of UK workers reported that a higher incidence of illness during winter had an adverse effect on their productivity.
In response to these challenges, Toughened Glass Systems has shared a range of tips and advice aimed at boosting productivity during the winter months. These include strategies for increasing natural light in home offices, engaging in light therapy, and encouraging outdoor activities.
As businesses navigate the ongoing challenges posed by remote work and the seasonal impact on productivity, understanding and addressing these factors becomes crucial for maintaining a motivated and efficient workforce.
Amelia Brand is the Editor for HRreview, and host of the HR in Review podcast series. With a Master’s degree in Legal and Political Theory, her particular interests within HR include employment law, DE&I, and wellbeing within the workplace. Prior to working with HRreview, Amelia was Sub-Editor of a magazine, and Editor of the Environmental Justice Project at the University College London, writing and overseeing articles into UCL’s weekly newsletter. Her previous academic work has focused on philosophy, politics and law, with a special focus on how artificial intelligence will feature in the future.