Spring, Sports & Sunshine – HR & Workplace Bright Spots on the Horizon…

Now that the spectacle of Super Bowl 50 is over, with its enthusiastic (and potentially concussive nature), we turn to the more pastoral and less contact-prone sports of spring; namely baseball and cricket. The English Cricket Season and the American Major League Baseball Season begin in March and April respectively each year; signaling to many the end of the winter doldrums and the start of spring – a welcome sign for many in the human resources community…

HR professionals deal with a wide variety of personalities each and every day – and many of their colleagues display changes in their attitudes based upon seasonal or temporal influences. For instance, who hasn’t heard the term ‘Blue Monday;’ typically the third Monday in January whereby a great many in the workplace have a touch of the blues?

Joe Burden in his HR Solutions column, ‘Blue Monday in the Workplace’ writes, “Whether a touch of the blues or something more serious, January can be hard on your workforce. Depression during the winter months has even been given its own moniker, 'Seasonal Affecting Disorder' (SAD) and a study by Willis PMI Group found that nearly a quarter of UK HR professionals (23%) had encountered the condition.

"SAD is a medically recognized condition, believed to be caused by reduced sunlight levels affecting hormone production, that comes and goes in a seasonal pattern and is sometimes known as 'winter depression' because symptoms tend to be more severe during winter, said Mike Blake, director at Willis PMI Group.

Recommendations to improve workplace attitude and morale include encouraging employees to get out in natural sunlight as much as possible, regular exercise, stress management and 'sunny' changes to the office environment such as maximizing daylight, using bright colors on walls and other decor, organizing office social events and having workers take breaks on a regular schedule.

So my fellow workers of the world – don’t fret! Spring is around the corner where we’ll get outside and enjoy our favorite activities and pastimes (mine being baseball). In the meantime, maintain a positive attitude and outlook – not only for yourself – but also for those around you! Create a positive morning ritual to start your day, when asked how you are – answer positively, exercise vigorously (you’ll feel better), read engaging literature (to exercise your mind), spend time with positive people and show appreciation for them and their efforts. Enjoy life and “Play Ball!”