- Paul Pellman is the CEO of Kazoo, an employee experience platform.
- Pellman writes that fall is one of the most stressful seasons for employees — daily routines change with dwindling sunlight, and seasonal affective disorder is in full swing.
- Stress costs employers $300 billion annually, and has a real impact on employees and the people around them.
- Managers should check in with their employees, put mental health initiatives in place, offer opportunities to stay active in the workplace, and lead by example.
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From cooler weather to leaf peeping to pumpkin spice lattes, there’s so much to look forward to when it comes to the autumn months. But what we may not realize is this time of year is one of the most stressful for employees in the workplace. With significant changes in daily routines to the dwindling number of daylight hours, we don’t have to look far for the sources of our fall misery.
Seasonal affective disorder (SAD), which affects around 10 million Americans annually, kicks off during this time of year. The resulting feelings of fatigue, depression, and hopelessness can easily seep into the workplace and are often exacerbated by work-related stress. In addition, according to the “Google misery index” created by former Pew Research analyst Christopher Ingraham, searches for “depression,” “anxiety,” and “stress” peak during the fall months. That trend has not only held steady over the years, but in fact, the same search terms are even higher in 2019.
So what do we as leaders do about this problem to help our employees and ourselves get through it? It starts by understanding the effects of stress and working with employees to manage it.