Life tends to slow down in the winter. In nature, animals hibernate, the icy roads keep traffic shuffling along, and for us, the cold makes us want to hunker down and not move. Unfortunately, the business world does not slow down, and once winter rolls around employees are often struggling to keep up. By taking on a mindset of empathy and keeping in mind these tips for helping employees stay productive in winter, our businesses will make it to spring.
Winter Care for Facilities
At this point, many employees are still working at home. However, this isn’t true for everyone. For those still going into offices, make sure the office is comfortable for employees. Check that heating systems are fully functioning and that windows are properly insulated. For facilities that are less office-based, such as warehouses and factories, the goal is to avoid factors that keep employees out in harsh conditions longer than they need to be. Practice proper cold weather operations for forklifts and other heavy equipment and be cognizant of ice spills and any other hazards.
Establish a Culture of Transparency
Whether your employees are at home or on site, they’ll still be facing many of the same challenges of working in the winter, such as flu season and seasonal affective disorder. If managers make employees feel they must “grin and bear it”, it will lead to burnout and an exacerbation of the problem that was harming their productivity in the first place. Take time to regularly check in on employees and encourage honesty about their current situation. Establish a culture where managers work with employees to solve their problems rather than punish them for having them.
Perks To Break Up the Week
Sometimes the best way to refocus a distracted mind is to work with its need for rest. To that end, rather than encourage people to “push through” their distraction, break up the day with discussions or activities. This can be as simple as offering brief chat discussions or video calls. Breaking up the flow of work with a diversity of activities will help employees refocus when they return to their original work.
Winter is here, and no one can change the fact it’s wrought with challenges. But what we can do is change how to respond to them in order to help employees stay productive throughout the winter.