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January 2, 2014

Winter blues lead to 9.6 million lost work days

Research from Epson found that 1 in 5 British office workers will take time off due to the winter blues, with lighting and colour identified as key factors in improving moods.

By Kate Heslop

Epson, the Japanese electronics company, has revealed new research carried out by Opinium of over 1,000 UK office workers. It found that 20% of UK office workers admit to calling in sick because of the ‘winter blues’ and on average will take four days off a year because of it.

According to the research, the ‘winter blues’, or more commonly known as Seasonal Affective Disorder, has lead to 9.6 million lost work days overall.

60% of respondents stated that the darker days and colder weather made it harder for them to get out of bed, with 59% insisting it leads to decreased levels of motivation. 58% of UK office workers believe that the ‘winter blues’ have lead to depression and 52% state that it makes them more susceptible to illness. These symptoms come in light of the finding that almost half of workers rarely or never see sunlight on the way to work during the winter months.

A third of respondents stated that better lighting in their office environment could help battle the winter blues, while 27% of workers wanted a more colourful workspace and one in five would like to see more creative visuals and colourful presentations.

Neil Colquhoun, director at Epson UK commented on the research: "From a business perspective, the opportunity of 2014 is there for the taking. Companies have to remain competitive and start the year on a high – losing valuable manpower because of winter weather is not an option. Workers are calling out for simple steps, such as bringing more light and colour into the workplace. We understand the importance of colour quality and brightness and are developing our technology to deliver the most exciting visual content."

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