SAD? You're not the only one.

Dec 02 2002 by Brian Amble Print This Article

A study of 1,000 office workers by recruitment company Office Angels found that nearly 80 per cent of them did not get enough natural light during January, causing them to feel tired, lethargic and miserable.

Consequently up to 50 per cent of employees suffered from the symptoms of seasonally affective disorder (SAD) such as feeling unmotivated and depressed during the winter months.

The survey also found that 30 per cent of respondents work fewer hours during winter because the lack of daylight causes the day to feel later than it actually is.

Paul Jacobs, Office Angels’ UK operations director said: “With the cold weather, the reduced daylight hours and the pressures of Christmas both at home and at work, it is inevitable that we all suffer from the winter blues to some degree.

“There are numerous steps which employers can take to reduce the symptoms and encourage a happier, more cheerful office atmosphere.”

Jacobs suggested that employers should encourage staff to get as much exposure to natural light as possible, such as talking a ten-minute walk at lunchtime every day.

Workers should also complete important tasks in the morning when they are most alert, and to avoid falling asleep in the afternoon, they should take regular short breaks.

However, the survey found that one employees already take steps to combat the effects of SAD is by simply talking more with their colleagues, rather than just sending emails and nearly all respondents said that because of the festive season, staff interacted on a more informal basis.