As the clocks go back and the days get shorter, many of us will start and end our workdays in the dark. It’s natural to feel a bit sluggish as the long nights and winter weather disrupt our usual routines, but this year COVID-19 complicates things further.
With working from home now the norm and local restrictions limiting access to social support, employee motivation is an ongoing struggle. According to our Divided Together report, one in three HR leaders stepped in to help staff with reduced productivity during lockdown. So how can we re-energise our teams?
Switching back to GMT this weekend gains us one extra hour in our Sunday. While it’s tempting to grab a lie in, there are many ways to use this extra time to counteract the annual energy deficit. Whether you can find a full hour or just five minutes, here are some ideas to help you use a bit of spare time to give yourself and your team a boost.
If you’ve got an extra 5 minutes…
For you: Try a 5 minute workout to get your heart pumping between tasks. Quick workouts keep your metabolism working and have the added bonus of warming you up on those cold winter mornings.
For your team: Schedule a short time-out into your next meeting and encourage everyone to get up, stretch and grab a snack. Just a few minutes will help the group to relax and refocus.
If you’ve got an extra 10 minutes…
For you: Mindfulness can clear your head and help you to focus on the present moment. Try guided meditation using a free app – we especially like Headspace for beginners.
For your team: Download our free winter wellbeing guides with tips for HR teams and employees to help beat the winter blues. The guides offer advice and resources on topics including SAD, mental health and resilience.
If you’ve got an extra 30 minutes…
For you: Make the most of the daylight hours with a lunchtime walk. Clear your head and get some vitamin D. A short daily walk is proven to boost concentration, improve digestion and reduce your risk of heart disease and stroke.
For your team: Support your team to try out new time management techniques to increase productivity and boost morale. The popular Eisenhower Matrix helps your workforce to prioritise tasks, while the Pomodoro Technique is a great procrastination buster.
If you’ve got an extra 60 minutes…
For you: For many of us, finding a spare hour in the day is a luxury. Take the chance to slow down and indulge a little. Catch up on sleep, pamper yourself or call a friend for an in-depth chat. Find your favourite way to melt away the stress and set yourself up for a great day.
For your team: Try reframing daily activities and consider how they might help to increase energy. Could you hold a standing up meeting or a walking 1:1? While exercise might feel draining at first, even a brisk walk can provide a refreshing endorphin rush. Mastering energy management also makes it easier to fall asleep at night, leaving you better rested for the next day. Embedding healthy habits empowers your employees to shed the stress and thrive all year round.
If you’re looking to boost wellbeing engagement among your workforce, try our live coaching webinars. These interactive one-hour sessions include expert advice, useful handouts and a live Q&A. Topics include back care and posture, emotional wellness and work life balance.
For HR teams, our free Health and Wellbeing Toolkit can help you build a wellbeing strategy that supports your people through difficult times. With the coronavirus pandemic now part of our daily lives, this winter looks set to be particularly challenging. But take the time to make a few positive changes and you might just beat the winter slump for good.