Seasonal Affective Disorder in the Office

My dad struggles every fall and winter when the days start getting shorter. He’s seriously influenced by the lack of sunlight and it takes a heavy toll on him. This condition is called Seasonal Affective Disorder. People who have it may feel unusually tired or sad and have a lack of drive or energy during the short winter days. Extreme cases can result in depression.


Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) can occur in your office as well. Employees may lack energy and lose focus, even fall asleep at their desks. You may be wondering what can be done to offset this or prevent it altogether. I’m glad you asked because there are some relatively simple changes that can be made to help keep your employees cheery and productive.

The HON Company, a furniture manufacturer based in Muscatine, IA recently published an article on the topic and has these suggestions:

  1. Rearrange Furniture to Allow for Natural Light

    Lack of sunlight is really at the heart of SAD. Simply arranging employees’ desks near the windows can make a tremendous difference. If that’s not possible, HON suggests adding a pop of color like a chair with a brightly colored seat cushion.

  2. Encourage Your Team to Get Moving

    Provide common areas throughout your office where your employees can get some exercise during the day. Have aerobic classes or yoga classes available. Not possible? How about something as simple as providing sit-stand workstations and balance boards? These can also provide needed exercise. Encourage your employees to get up from their desks several times each day and just take a quick walk around the office.

  3. Get Outside

    Employees should go outside for at least five minutes each day. Lunch time is the perfect time for a stroll. This simple action can help to relieve stress and lift their spirits, so bundle up and get outside!

  4. Provide Cozy Spaces for Unwinding and Meditation

    Comfortable seating in small nooks or gathering places where employees can relax and unwind will help to relieve stress and restore energy as well. Consider designating a small room as a meditation room/gathering space.

  5. Decorate the Office Early

    NO!!! It’s not even December yet, you say! But studies have shown that if you move up the decorating schedule by a month or more, it helps to prolong the excitement of the season and makes your employees happier. HO! HO! HO!

HON has some great ideas - you can read the entire article here: 5-Ways-to-Avoid-the-SADness.

OEX can help! Call us today at 877-795-2600 for a consultation with one of our expert sales managers. We’re here for you every step of the way - in all aspects of your business.