Do you ever feel less productive on gloomy days? Well, according to several studies conducted on the affects of weather on office productivity, you are not alone.
How Does the Weather Affect Productivity?
- Thirty-two percent (32%) of workers say they tend to be happier when it’s sunny or warm. (CareerBuilder.com survey)
- When exposed to darkness, your body produces more melatonin, which makes you increasingly sleepier. (Productivity: Effects of Weather and Climate Beyond Seasonal Disorders)
- People are most productive at an office temperature of around about 72° F. Once temperatures hit 86°F, productivity fell almost 10%. (Effect of Temperature on Task Performance in Office Environment)
- At 77 degrees Fahrenheit, the workers studied were keyboarding 100 percent of the time with a 10 percent error rate, but at 68 degrees, their keying rate went down to 54 percent of the time with a 25 percent error rate. (Which Temperature is Best for Your Productivity?)
- Twenty-one percent (21%) of workers claim that weather negatively impacts their demeanor. (CareerBuilder.com survey)
- Ten percent (10%) of workers say they tend to be less productive on gloomy days. (CareerBuilder.com survey)
- When asked which weather attribute most affects their mood or productivity negatively, workers pointed to: Rain (21%), Cold (14%), Hot (13%), Dark (9%), and Snow (9%). (CareerBuilder.com survey)
- Twenty-one percent (21%) of workers admit to calling in sick because of not wanting to travel to work in bad weather. (CareerBuilder.com survey)
- According to CareerBuilder.com, women are more likely to report feeling less motivated when the weather is gloomy and more likely to call in sick due to bad weather conditions than men.
- Twelve percent (12%) of workers tend to be sadder or angrier on gloomy days. (CareerBuilder.com survey)
This could all be the sign of a more serious medical condition, known as Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD).
SAD refers to episodes of actual depression that occur at a certain time of the year, usually during winter. Symptoms of Seasonal Affective Disorder are usually the same as with any case of depression:
• Increased appetite with weight gain
• Increased sleep and daytime sleepiness
• Less energy and ability to concentrate in the afternoon
• Loss of interest in work or other activities
• Slow, sluggish, lethargic movement
• Social withdrawal
• Unhappiness and irritability
If you feel you may be suffering from Seasonal Affective Disorder, consult your health care provider. As with other types of depression, SAD is most typically treated using antidepressant medications and talk therapy.
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