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Written by Ripe London on December 8, 2023

Four Ways to Avoid Workplace Stress This Winter

Winter can be a stressful time for many people, especially in the workplace. The holiday season, end-of-year deadlines, short days and harsh weather conditions can all contribute to increased stress levels. 

At Ripe London, we think offices should be healthy and happy spaces to be. The better employees feel about their place of work, the higher their engagement with their job and the greater their impact on overall productivity. Improved employee morale and retention, and a higher quality of work, can all be traced back to a low-stress workplace. So here are a few tips to get you and your employees through the stresses of winter in the workplace.

Avoiding Workplace Stress This Winter

Extended periods of stress can have a negative impact on work productivity. High levels of stress in the office can lead to decreased concentration, memory problems, and even put a strain on working relationships. Here’s how you can help your employees manage stress at work.

Encourage Breaks

Feeling sluggish during the winter season is not uncommon, partly due to a lack of natural sunlight throughout the winter months. As the days grow shorter, encouraging everyone to step away from their desk can actually boost how hard they work. It can help employees recharge and refocus which can help reduce stress levels. Taking a brisk walk during a lunch hour or simply standing up to stretch for a few minutes every hour can improve concentration and cognition.

During these breaks, encourage mindfulness or exercise. Mindfulness is a great way to reduce stress and increase focus. Suggest employees take a few minutes each day to practise deep breathing or meditation, enabling them to stay calm and centred. Exercise is similarly effective at reducing stress and boosting your mood. A quick jog at this time of year can do wonders for keeping warm, let alone the dopamine boost to improve their mood!

Promoting brief excursions into the crisp winter air, or just a change of positions every now and then, can do wonders in offsetting the stress caused by darker days. Recognising the importance of momentarily stepping away during the winter season can also be a testament to a company’s commitment to fostering a healthy work environment and improving employee morale.

Winter Team Building Exercises

During the winter months, organising team-building activities can be especially effective in combating workplace stress. These activities should aim to strengthen the sense of camaraderie among employees:

  • Arrange team dinners at local restaurants or within the office where employees can socialise outside of their usual work environment. Sharing a meal can foster connections and help employees relax.
  • Host a holiday-themed party for your employees. This is a great way for everyone to unwind, celebrate the season, and enjoy each other's company. Organise games, Secret Santa gift exchanges, or even invite employees' families to make it more festive.
  • Encourage your team to volunteer for a charitable cause during the winter season. Giving back to the community not only fosters a sense of purpose but also promotes team bonding.

These team-building activities provide a break from the daily routine and help employees de-stress. They also strengthen relationships and create a more positive and supportive work environment, which is crucial for reducing workplace stress during the winter months.

Create a Winter-Ready Workplace

A winter-ready workplace can be a momentous boost to employee morale during the final stretch of the year. With a holistic approach to addressing physical and mental well-being, you can foster a healthier and more productive workplace and help your employees enjoy coming into the office regardless of the weather.

Londoners love complaining about the weather but love a cosy office even more. Taking simple steps such as maintaining a comfortable indoor temperature in the office is a great first step in improving your employee’s mood. 

With shorter daylight hours, access to those golden sunbeams becomes a commodity. Rearrange workspaces to maximise exposure during the daytime, or invest in light therapy lamps. These are nifty lights which mimic sunshine, helping to alleviate the winter malaise (and even symptoms of depression and Seasonal Affective Disorder).

Implementing simple workplace wellness initiatives, such as healthy snacking or office fruit deliveries ensures your employees are getting the right nutrients and minerals in their diets. Ensuring the office is winter-ready can improve health and workplace wellness. Making the prospect of coming to work that much more appealing. 

Encourage Healthier Workplace Eating: Office Fruit Delivery With Ripe

With Ripe London you get the very best London-grown produce delivered straight to you, no matter where you are in the capital. Our fruits haven’t spent days or weeks in storage, ensuring their freshness and nutritional value can give your employees that winter boost they need:

  • Our fresh oranges are rich in vitamin C, essential for a strong immune system to fend off cold and flu.
  • Fresh pomegranates from Ripe are packed with antioxidants, which help our bodies cope with the reduced physical activity associated with winter.
  • Our grapes contain natural levels of resveratrol, which is believed to have a positive effect on heart health, ideal for the cold weather when our hearts have to work overtime to keep us warm.

With better nutrition from fresh fruits, employees can fight off winter illnesses that would otherwise drag them down. Our office fruit boxes can also help them avoid comfort eating, which will worsen that sluggish feeling and cause energy crashes caused by unhealthy office snacking.

Give employees a boost with seasonal British fruits or exciting exotic treats, hot drinks or healthy snack bars. Visit our shop page to start eating and working better!

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