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Navigating the Winter Workforce

Whether you’re an employer or an employee, dealing with winter sickness can leave you wanting to hibernate.

I’ve put together some tips to help you take care of your physical and mental health at work this winter, and some strategies for leaders to manage the winter workforce efficiently.

For employers

  • As the cold weather sets in, managing increased sickness absence poses fresh challenges for employers. Balancing well-being alongside operational resilience tests even seasoned managers. However, several proactive strategies can smooth workflows amidst the sniffles and coughs of winter.
  • Transparency and communication remain key throughout. Ensure sick leave notification policies are clearly articulated so people follow proper protocols without hesitation. Encourage prompt reporting of illness so work can be redistributed seamlessly.
  • Cross-training across roles similarly buffers against disruption when sickness absence hits a team. Departments can implement contingency coverage plans, leverage extra help if required, and prevent isolated knowledge gaps due to extended leaves.
  • Moreover, actively sustaining workforce well-being pays dividends. From frequent hand washing reminders to healthy diet tips, small nudges towards self-care curb contagion. Consider formal initiatives like Employee Assistance Programmes to support mental health during darker months as well.

In closing, astute managers accept sickness spikes as inevitable and use them to demonstrate compassion. Meanwhile, motivated job seekers continue networking actively, fortified by hot beverages and vitamin C. With open dialogue and care on all sides, the winter workforce can thrive through head colds and snow days alike.

For employees

For employees working through winter, staying motivated and healthy can be tough as darker days and frigid temperatures keep people indoors more.

  • Combat lacklustre moods by maximising sunlight exposure whenever possible. Bundle up and spend time outdoors to boost vitamin D, even if just briefly. Seeking bright rooms and lamp illumination indoors also helps.
  • Ward off winter sluggishness with regular exercise. Mix up routines with indoor activities like yoga and home aerobics to stay active when pavements get slippery. Staying physically healthy strengthens immunity and resilience against seasonal bugs going around the workplace.
  • Watch nutrition too during the colder season. Seek out winter fruits and vegetables bursting with vital antioxidants and vitamins. Soups and stews likewise warm from within and fuel productivity. Supplement natural light and balanced diets with vitamin D and C capsules when needed.
  • Besides central heating and extra seasonal attire, don't overlook good skin and lip moisturisers to combat harsh winter air, whether in the workplace or outside. Wear gloves outdoors to reduce risk of painful cracks and irritation.

Finally, remain vigilant against mental health impacts like seasonal affective disorder. Look out for prolonged fatigue, craving comfort foods and increased isolation from colleagues. Where necessary, engage support services like employee assistance programmes that provide helpful counsel.

With some conscious prevention and self-care, you can thrive without losing steam or succumbing to sickness during the winter months. Adjusting routines to account for environmental factors and tending to mind and body will help you stay motivated when skies turn gloomier.

Talk with the team at Abacus to ensure you and your teams stay healthy at work this winter.