According to new research from Epson, 9.6 million work days are lost each year as a result of employees suffering from the ‘winter blues’ or Seasonal Affective Disorder. When asked what measures would improve the mood of employees in the office, a third (33%) of respondents stated better lighting. However, 27% of workers wanted a more colourful workspace and one in five (20%) would like to see more creative visuals and colourful presentations. So perhaps, colourful wide format print could be part of the solution?
The survey of over 1,000 UK office workers, carried out by Opinium, finds that 20% of Brits admit to calling in sick because of the winter blues and, on average, those that do call in sick, take off four days a year because of the condition.
The results highlighted the ways in which the winter months impact UK office workers, with 60% stating that it makes it harder to get out of bed. This was closely followed by decreased levels of motivation (59%), depression (58%) and greater susceptibility to illness (52%). These symptoms come in light of the finding that almost half (48%) of workers rarely or never see sunlight on the way to work during the winter months.
Creating a stimulating and pleasant environment in which to work can help lift workers' spirits and keep them motivated. “From a business perspective, the opportunity of 2014 is there for the taking,” says Neil Colquhoun, Director at Epson UK. “Companies have to remain competitive and start the year on a high – losing valuable manpower because of winter weather is not an option. Workers are calling out for simple steps, such as bringing more colour and light into the workplace. We understand the importance of colour quality and are developing our technology to deliver the most exciting visual content.”
Angela Wright, colour psychologist, comments, “Grey is always a favourite colour for office design – yet, the human instinct in a grey world is to hibernate – so the winter months are already a constant battle to fight the instinct to sleep. When the world turns grey, we know we could be in for a long winter and we naturally draw into ourselves – hoarding both resources and energy. Therefore, it’s no surprise that light and colour have come out on top as remedies for the winter blues; the quality of visual intake for busy, hardworking employees plays a crucial role in brightening up their days and keeping motivation levels high.”
The research reveals a good business opportunity for wide-format print firms to produce colourful wall and floor coverings for companies looking to brighten up their work environments. "Print service suppliers equipped with Epson’s SureColor SC-S range of wide format printers are already transforming office environments with colourful, high-quality wall graphics and this research shows the benefits that companies can experience as a result," says Neil.
Angela Wright’s top five tips to combat the winter blues comprise:
- Customise the workplace by installing colourful wall graphics and pieces of art for a more exciting corporate environment
- Introduce more plants and greenery into the office
- Build outdoor exercise into your weekly routine
- Liven up your meetings: include less text and more attention-grabbing, colourful imagery in presentation materials
- Ditch the email and focus on face-to-face communication and interaction with your colleagues