'Winter blues' can drag on year-round for younger workers

More than half of workers under 30 experience higher stress levels during winter – but this can also last the whole year through

'Winter blues' can drag on year-round for younger workers

A dreary winter can leave workers feeling unenthusiastic and depressed during the season, but a new study suggests, the ‘winter blues’ can last well beyond the cold months for younger workers.

More than half of employees under 30 (55%) report experiencing higher stress levels in the winter compared to nearly half of the overall working population (49%) who feel the same way, the results of a Canada Life survey showed.

Moreover, a third of younger employees are also more likely to suffer from depression because of work during the drab season. They see their work environment as harmful to their mental health:

  • 35% of young workers under 30 claim their workplace is more stressful during winter; and
  • 29% say it is difficult to foster good mental health in their workplace.

In response to the challenges of working during winter:

  • 35% of the same demographic want to request working part-time from home;
  • 32% want to work flexible hours; and
  • 20% want access to an Employee Assistance Program to help them cope with stress.

“The heightened levels of stress and depression experienced during the winter months will not disappear with the first flush of spring,” said Paul Avis, marketing director at Canada Life.

“The knock-on effect it could have to employee wellbeing throughout the rest of the year is likely to be highly detrimental.”

“Getting up in the dark, going home in the dark, a longer commute, and the bad weather all play a part in reducing people’s feel-good factors,” Avis said, “and so at this particular time of year organisations need to be ever more diligent when considering employee welfare, especially for younger workers.”

 

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