Winter burnout advice for business owners and sole traders

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  Posted by: electime      6th December 2023

In order to protect business owners and sole traders from suffering burnout throughout the winter months, the trades insurance experts at Toolbox by Admiral have provided their top tips for preventing exhaustion and warding off fatigue.

Sole traders, independent business owners, and tradespeople can find winter months particularly challenging, not only due to the drop in temperatures.

As hours of daylight and temperatures plummet, staying motivated to accomplish the day’s work can seem daunting. This, combined with potential seasonally slow business, may lead to a greater risk of winter burnout.

A spokesperson from Toolbox says: “Surviving winter burnout as a business owner or tradesperson is about flexibility, well-being, and realistic expectations. 

“Manage work hours to optimise daylight, maintain a healthy lifestyle, and invest in the right gear. Incorporate relaxing activities into your work routine and set achievable goals considering the weather.

“Remember, winter is not just about enduring but also thriving. The key is in taking care of your physical and mental health to stay productive and warm.”

The insurance experts at Toolbox have provided their top tips for business owners and sole traders to avoid winter burnout: 

  1. Implement flexible working hours

During the winter months, daylight hours are notably shorter, which can make a standard workday feel longer, leading to potential exhaustion. To combat this, consider arranging flexible work hours for yourself and the wider team. This could include changing your work schedule to begin later in the morning and end later in the evening.

Alternatively, changes could involve dividing the workday into separate shifts. By optimising daylight hours and providing flexibility, you can mitigate feelings of fatigue and keep spirits high.

  1. Maintain a healthy lifestyle

Health plays a significant role in maintaining energy levels, especially during the harsh winter months. Having a balanced diet, regular exercise, and a good night’s sleep can have an enormous impact on your mood and productivity, therefore, reducing the risk of burnout.

It would be beneficial to have warm, nutritious snacks readily available on site or in your van to keep your energy levels steady. You should also allow sufficient break time to ensure everyone has time to rest and stays energised throughout the day.

  1. Invest in the gear you need

For those engaged in physical trades, the importance of suitable winter gear cannot be overstressed. By investing in the right winter clothing and equipment, you can mitigate the discomforts that cold weather brings, making the workday more bearable.

Having the appropriate gear not only helps in maintaining productivity levels but also safeguards against potential health risks associated with cold weather.

  1. Set realistic goals and expectations

Winter can often cause unexpected delays,therefore, it’s crucial to adjust your expectations and project timelines to accommodate possible weather-related interruptions.

By setting realistic and achievable goals, you can maintain a consistent workflow without overburdening yourself or your team with impossibly tight deadlines. This thoughtful planning can significantly lessen stress and help prevent burnout.

  1. Spend some time on wellbeing activities

Activities that focus on wellbeing and relaxation are vital in preventing burnout. This could mean listening to podcasts or music, reading, meditating, pursuing a hobby or passionate interest, or spending quality time with loved ones.

Engaging in wellbeing activities provides mental respite from the rigours of work-related stress and can boost morale significantly. Consider scheduling a dedicated “wellbeing hour” into your workday or week, where you consciously move work to the background and focus on rejuvenating and recharging activities.