Here in the UK, we experience the full scope of the seasons. From (occasional) blistering summers to the predictably bitter winters, these intensive seasonal transitions no-doubt affect our lives, careers, and working environments.
For businesses to thrive in ever-changing climates, workspaces need to adapt. Investing in a workspace as a service (WaaS) provides multi-purpose solutions with flexible, secure, and comfortable capabilities to combat seasonal changes and unexpected pandemics.
How do seasons affect business?
Each season in the UK presents its own agenda for businesses to recognise. None more notorious than the winter.
For some, winter can be a joyous time involving festive celebrations and warm, cosy long coats. But for others, the arrival of short days, long nights and cold weather have a psychological impact on how and if they want to embrace the day. It can even lead to seasonal affective disorder.
Seasonal affective disorder
A serious consequence of winter blues is known as seasonal affective disorder (SAD), otherwise referred to as seasonal depression or winter depression. Studies show this condition affects at least one-third of the UK population.
Seasonal affective disorder develops when a lack of daylight stops the part of the brain known as the hypothalamus from functioning properly. This change lowers the level of serotonin and increases melatonin, resulting in depression and tiredness.
Seeing as so many people are affected by seasonal affective disorder, businesses need to recognise the signs and adapt. A good place to start is to understand the symptoms. The NHS determine these to include 1 :
• Consistent low moods
• Feeling guilty, worthless, or desperate
• Lacking energy.
• Sleeping for longer and struggling to get out of bed
• Gaining weight
When someone at your business suffers from seasonal depression, it’s important to take some steps to counteract the issue. If you don’t, you could see a drastic drop in productivity and employee satisfaction.
The solution? A workspace as a service is well suited to counteract issues with SAD because of the flexibility, security, and comfort it offers. As well as a company encouraging an open and honest mental health culture, the workplace can be transformed and adapted for someone suffering from SAD.
Winter illnessesDuring winter, illnesses pass indoors much easier in the form of colds, flues and other respiratory diseases 2. In an office environment, these diseases can spread between colleagues causing more work absences to reduce productivity.
A WaaS solution can be installed to prevent winter illnesses, either at home or in an office environment. Because WaaS is made available through a monthly arrangement, companies, particularly smaller businesses, can benefit from a remote working WaaS system during the winter and a WaaS office space in the summer.
Winter can also affect businesses through the weather directly. Heavy snow notoriously causes offices to close or issues on the roads to affect travel. If your company is solely office based with no remote working workspaces available, work time is simply lost.
This is another factor to why a home system for companies can prove very productive during the winter months. WaaS can provide everything to ensure productivity, efficiency and flexibility are installed in the home of the employee.
How does workspace as a service counteract winter challenges?
Workplace layout – A workspace can be designed to accommodate as much daylight as possible. Daylight lamps can also be installed to help with winter depression. The environment at home or the office can specifically cater for each employee.
Flexibility – Adjustments can be made to the workspace allowing sufferers of seasonal depression to work more flexibly. This can include workspaces from home, allowing the employee to work in more comfort alongside a flexible schedule to accommodate the daylight hours.
Digital Audio-Visual (AV) Solutions – Ideal to cover home working audio-visual optimised workspaces, Digital AV solutions will ensure time is not lost during heightened sickness periods.
The seasonal changes that came with Covid-19
The coronavirus pandemic was another unfortunate realisation of how businesses can be dramatically affected by seasonal changes. WaaS has the intelligence, adaptability, and modern capabilities to adapt to unseen circumstances that can arise, such as a worldwide-spread pandemic.
We cannot always predict things like the next pandemic, but we can have the planning and infrastructure in place to fight against it, such as an innovative, cutting-edge WaaS system.
Covid-19 shifted the way people work, causing many to work from home. In April 2020, 46.6% of people in employment managed some work at home. Of those who did some, 86% did so because of the pandemic.
The UK government has put in plans of an Autumn and Winter Covid 19 Response 3. As a business, it’s important to have plans in place, just in case there are further lockdowns. Next winter could be another very challenging, uncertain, and unprecedented season.
The best seasonal times to invest in business
A WaaS platform can help propel positivity through its adaptive capabilities. Typically, quarter three is the most productive of all seasons in the UK. On average, the highest percentage of work is completed in October (9.5%). This remains throughout the autumn and slows down in the winter and into the new year.
Why not take advantage of this fact and invest further in WaaS when productivity and profits are high? This can rejuvenate the workforce and show your company has the finger on the pulse in understanding the challenges caused by seasonal changes.
WaaS is a solution to seasonal changes
Investing in your business through a workspace as a service will help combat seasonal changes due to the flexibility, security, and comfort it provides businesses and their employees. A WaaS will improve productivity and employee satisfaction by accommodating a hybrid workforce capable of taking on any seasonal changes that might appear.
We recommend Podia and its WaaS solution, Rise. Podia understands the importance of a work-life balance and how that is affected by changes in the seasons. The Rise platform also anticipates and caters for the unseen challenges all workplaces can face in uncertain times. The benefits of Rise include:
- Better work environment – Each workspace can be specifically designed for all employees need. This can hugely improve mental and physical wellbeing while improving productivity and employee satisfaction
- Personal Development – Employees can develop their skills through recognised learning and development providers. Supportive content, insights, and learning tools each employee can continue to thrive no matter the weather.
- Exclusive Events – Employees will be invited to virtual events and webinars where experts will share their insights on relevant topics and work from home strategies.
- Virtual community – By joining a professional community, employees can network with like-minded professionals to discuss topics and share experiences.
If you’re ready to elevate your game and change with the seasons, speak to Podia today about our workspace as a service options.
1 - https://www.nhs.uk/mental-health/conditions/seasonal-affective-disorder-sad/overview/
2 - https://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/health/conditions-and-diseases/winter-illness-guide#:~:text=Colds%2C%20flus%20and%20other%20respiratory%20illnesses%20are%20more,And%20the%20cold%2C%20dry%20air%20may%20weaken%20resistance.
3 - https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-response-autumn-and-winter-plan-2021/covid-19-response-autumn-and-winter-plan-2021