Preparing your workplace for winter: our top tips to promote employee mental health 

Office team collaborating

Did you know that 1 in 3 Australians report feeling increasingly depressed during winter months? According to a recent McCrindle report, 1 in 3 Australians also admit to feeling reduced motivation to work through the winter. As the temperature drops, so can our moods and energy levels.

Whilst some board a flight to Greece, the rest of us are left glued to social media platforms watching on in envy (#FOMO). As an employer concerned with the mental health of their team, you may be worried burn-out is on the horizon. But with the right strategies and support, businesses can help their employees maintain a positive outlook through winter, minus the poolside Pina colada in Mykonos. 

No matter the season, Leora is here to help you create a mentally healthy workplace. Let’s start with some effective and practical tips you can implement to keep spirits high, as the temperature drops.

👢Transform your workplace for winter

A warm and inviting workspace can make a huge difference to employee morale. Are your team wrapped up in puffers, hot-desking in an office that feels anything but? Most people aren’t motivated to work in a space that is cold in temperature or temperament, so if that sounds like your office, consider encouraging your team to seek their daily Vitamin D!

Natural light is a great booster of serotonin levels, which can significantly improve mood and energy. Easy ways to add in some additional natural light exposure include,

  • Scheduling lunch-time walks outside,
  • positioning desks near windows,
  • or organising outdoor meetings ☀️  
Woman relaxing whilst working

Leaning into the season can also be a fun way to motivate your staff. You don’t have to transform your office into a winter wonderland, but consider introducing woolly blankets, warm lighting and stocking the kitchen full of winter warmers! ☕

🏃 Encourage physical activity

Exercise releases endorphins, which act as natural mood lifters. You can create a culture that values physical activity by hosting movement sessions (if Leora is your EAP provider, this is something we can facilitate for you! Get in touch, let’s move 💪), organising a company-wide fitness challenge (hello, #Steptember) or providing gym memberships.

Even scheduling short, regular breaks to stretch can make a huge difference to employee health and mindset. We won’t go into too much details, as there’s an entire blog dedicated to the art of Mindful Movement here.

🏠 Offer flexible working arrangements

Flexibility is a great value-add for employees in winter, and not just for the ability to work in an oversized hoodie and slippers. If it is a possibility for your business, providing remote working options through winter allows people to manage time on their own terms. This flexibility is invaluable for people, particularly those who balance work with family responsibilities, external commitments or personal mental health needs. 

🎉 Get social!

Isolation can feel more pronounced during the colder months. We can’t help but feel some mild PTSD recalling the winters we spent in lockdown, and certainly this can be a triggering recollection for many people. It is even more important to connect, encourage team-building activities and schedule social events with others. For a more serious conversation, Our Live Chat with a Counsellor service is available for your team to speak to a qualified counsellor in real-time, no appointment necessary. Just open the Leora app, click our Live Chat and start a chat.

Team meeting

🤧 Offer flu shots

Sickness affects our workforce disproportionately more in winter, according to the McCrindle report. 1 in 3 Australians take more time off because of it 🤒 Offering flu shots to employees is a great way to reduce absenteeism and demonstrate your commitment to employee wellbeing. Less outbreaks of the flu = everyone wins!

💆 Prioritise wellbeing

Run a business that walks the walk, rather than just talks.

Leora is a workplace wellbeing platform that nurtures employee mental health, productivity and job satisfaction. Our user-friendly platform allows your employees to access a wide range of mental health resources, connect with skilled therapists, and engage in self-guided activities—all from the convenience of their smartphone.

There’s no need to wait for appointments or navigate through complex systems. Support is right at their fingertips, whenever they need it.

By implementing these strategies, you can support your team through the winter months, fostering a happier, more productive workplace. Are you ready for winter? Contact us to learn more ❄️