With the winter blues creeping in on us, searches for seasonal affective disorder have increased by 500%.
With the colder months capable of having an impact on productivity, which features can help boost productivity whilst at work? With this in mind, Savoy Stewart has teamed up with experts at Brainworks Neurotherapy and Hillary’s, to reveal how to increase productivity during the winter months.
Top office features that can boost productivity:
Connection through colour
Colours are thought to influence many of our choices, moods and behaviours. With many offices typically using bland tones such as white and grey, there are many different shades that can improve and increase employee productivity levels.
Yvonne Keal, on behalf of Hillary’s home store comments: “Light and airy pastel shades such as pinks, dusty yellow, lilacs and mint greens are great colours to incorporate into your office in winter as they promote calmness and can help release any built up tension in your work routine which still allows creative juices to flow.
“Allow the colour to influence your mood and mind-set in a more positive way, whether you paint a whole area or add a pop of colour to your desk, bright colours are proven to activate serotonin levels inside the brain making you feel more energised.”
Adding greenery such as plants to an office can hold huge benefits for work life. With reports suggesting that plants are capable of reducing stress and increasing productivity levels, they can also clean the air within an office and help filter out allergens.
Two plants that are great for boosting productivity levels are Bamboo Palm, which is famous for its pollution reducing abilities, increasing easy breathing and can promote clear-thinking. Perfect for a long work day. Whilst the Golden Pothos has similar powers, it can also remove unfavourable smells, keeping your airways clean and leaving no room for distractions.
Personalise your workspace
Whether this be at your home office or an external office environment, personalising your work space with your own items that reflect your interests can keep you engaged and relaxed.
Whilst your specific office area may keep you feeling relaxed, taking breaks from your space can have huge benefits on your work day. Studies have shown that regular breaks are great for boosting performance and energy levels, with research finding that taking mini-breaks throughout the work day can support wellbeing and increase productivity, even if it is a few minutes away from your desk.
Many office spaces are plain and lacking ‘life’ to their interior, therefore adding artwork that is personal to you can be great for influencing emotions such as happiness, and can restore mental energy.
Nature imagery has been found to help with work frustrations, whilst artwork from your favourite artists or even family members can bring a sense of connection. Small framed pieces, stickers, posters or photographs all add a fun element, as long as they don’t create any potential distraction to you or other colleagues.
The office environment can have a significant impact on employee productivity, improvement areas to consider are:
Change your office layout
With people spending hours at a time in one space at work, the layout of your office is essential for encouraging productivity and collaboration with others.
James Roy, on behalf of Brainworks Neurotherapy comments: “Exposure to natural light is essential for supporting your hormonal system. This is because the amount of light that enters your eyes during these times directly influences the production and regulation of hormones in your body, such as serotonin, melatonin and cortisol, which play a critical role in mood and sleep patterns. This effectiveness extends even to areas with cloudy weather, as the light can penetrate through clouds.”
Remove any potential distractions
Reducing excessive noise and clutter can make a huge difference to your day to day productivity. Utilising ‘quiet spaces’, organising dedicated work areas and setting expectations will help beat feeling unmotivated.
Senior Product Manager, Yvonne Keal, at Hillary’s home store, spoke on combating distractions in your workspace:
“A cluttered physical space equals a cluttered mental space, so remove any unnecessary items from your office to maintain concentration. Dim lighting can also make you feel tired, unfocused and increase chances of headaches, therefore placing your desk perpendicular to a window is best for the most natural light.”
Savoy Stewart wanted to find out the best tips for staying productive at work during the winter months.
Experts were used to contribute insight to this campaign.
All data was collected October 2023, and is accurate as of then.