Cold winters lower productivity levels

Woman in snow facing camera looking annoyed

More than two-thirds of workers believe they are less productive and have lower concentration levels during the winter season compared to the warmer summer months.

Today, Blue Monday, is statistically the day of the year when most people feel unproductive and unmotivated. So, it may come as no surprise that the cold weather is among the largest contributing factors to our productivity levels – or lack of.

The combination of gloomy workplaces and illness has left 69 per cent of workers feeling less creative and nearly half say they have less energy.

Research from British Summer Fruits explored how different seasons affect workplace productivity and brain function. The findings followed a similar pattern to a neuroscience study conducted in Belgium, which revealed that brain activity follows a similar pattern to  Seasonal Affective Disorder – also known as the ‘winter blues’.

The office being too hot or too cold, naughty snacks and treats and doing less exercise all make people feel less efficient in the office. Four in ten people say they have lower energy levels in winter and 66 per cent are more likely to comfort eat.

“There are several factors which contribute to workers feeling less productive and research suggests the change in seasons plays its part,” said Laurence Olins, chairman from British Summer Fruits.

During the colder months, 74 per cent of people found it harder to get out of bed for work, while 37 per cent were far more likely to call in sick. For two out of every five days in winter, Brits claim to feel under the weather. 81 per cent admitted that they often go into work when they feel unwell.

In order to combat Blue Monday, researchers discovered that to feel 100 per cent productive during the winter months, workers simply need to work six hours instead of eight, and have two breaks more than they would get during the summer months. Flexible working hours, the opportunity to get fresh air during the day and access to healthy foods are also conducive to a positive work environment.