COLUMBIA, Mo. – Winter days are shorter, darker and colder. Holidays and their aftermath can add stress. This seasonal shift can leave employees more apt to hibernate than focus on work. And that can affect a business’s productivity and bottom line.

Bryana Larimer, business trainer for the Missouri Training Institute, part of University of Missouri Extension, has a handful of tips to help your team beat the winter blahs:

Encourage open communication. Foster a culture in which team members can talk openly about how they are feeling and the challenges they’re facing. Show empathy and understanding at all times.

Flexible scheduling. Offer flexible work hours or remote work options to accommodate holiday commitments and travel plans. This can help reduce stress and allow team members to balance work and personal obligations.

Flexible deadlines. If possible, offer flexibility with project deadlines around the holiday season. This can alleviate pressure and help employees better manage their workloads.

Create a positive work environment. Especially during the holidays, decorations, music or even a hot chocolate station can help create a more upbeat and uplifting work environment.

Encourage self-care. Remind employees to prioritize self-care, whether it’s through exercise, hobbies or simply taking time for themselves. Healthy habits contribute to overall well-being. Provide information and resources on self-care practices, such as those offered through employee assistance programs.

“These are year-round good practices for building your team’s resilience and well-being — and can be particularly helpful in overcoming seasonal blues,” Larimer said.

More Missouri Training Institute resources with helpful tips on beating winter blahs and burnout:

Weekly Workplace podcast episodes

Facebook Live video

Learn more about MU Extension’s Missouri Training Institute at

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