Is Spring Fever A Real Thing That a Manager Should Know About?
Updated: Jun 1, 2021
WHAT IS SPRING FEVER? Spring fever is defined in the dictionary as a feeling of restlessness and excitement felt at the beginning of spring. Scientific American offers that spring fever, though still a fuzzy term, is associated with:
Listlessness, day dreaming, increased heart rate, increased serotonin, appetite loss, and the reduced need to produce melatonin due to the elongation of the daylight.
It also influences the need to be outdoors whenever the weather is warmer – it’s as if breaking free of heavy winter clothing and feeling the sun on our skin helps reduce the winter doldrums faster.
HOW WILL THIS LIKELY AFFECT YOUR WORKPLACE? See if these symptoms sound familiar. Have your employees been…
Late to work because they’ve started a new schedule of walking or running before work?
Taking longer coffee or smoke breaks (do those still happen?) as the weather outside becomes more enjoyable?
Taking longer lunch breaks because they go to sit outside during them (instead of at their desks)?
Leaving work early for outdoor happy hour events?
Taking Fridays or Mondays off to add to the weekend travel plans.
Engaging in new office romances as people spend more time socializing together?
Needing extra reminders of the dress code as summer styles creeps into the daily attire?
Growing frustrated with others on the team as vacation days are limited and there is no spring break for the work environment?
WHAT DO YOU DO AS THE MANAGER? Here are some examples from fellow HR professionals acknowledging the need to embrace spring as a team.
This is especially important if you want to get consistent results from your team!
Understand who has seasonal allergies and be sensitive to those who suffer this time of year. Do NOT penalize those who call in sick due to the onslaught of allergies. Show compassion, even if you don’t understand.
Offer to identify exciting types of training or team-building and schedule them as a team.
If possible, offer to help with the costs to help your employees embrace their professional growth and prevent them from feeling stagnate at work while everything else seems to be blooming.
Identify conferences or professional industry resources for learning and offer time to attend as part of their job.
Organize outdoor events to take advantage of the good weather and get people out of their regular office space. For example: lunch outdoors, afternoon walking breaks, or even a happy hour at the local watering hole that has a patio.
HOW TO MAXIMIZE YOUR TEAM’S ENGAGEMENT DURING SPRING FEVER This is an ongoing topic of conversation and recommendations stem from simple gestures of offering new potted plants for employee desks to more increased efforts like brain storming sessions and experimentation periods that promote team innovation, team work, and team support.
A helpful topic is to introduce assessments that drive conversations and support for differences that drive innovation by valuing the cognitive diversity of each team member. Assessments are scientific and allow differences to be discussed without the emotional opinions and biases that naturally occur with people who come from varied backgrounds prior to working together. I love including this perspective when working with clients or speaking on how brain science can limit you where you least expect.
To learn more about local or virtual workshops to inspire your team through Spring Fever, please reach out here.