By Claire West

It’s the time of year when many businesses start noticing a slump in their workforce as their employees start to feel the effects of Winter.

But could your company actually do something to help your employees combat the blues associated with this time of year, while also helping your business stay productive and prosperous?

According to a new study, more than 1.5 million British workers have endured a full working week with no exposure to natural daylight during the Winter months, impacting on health, wellbeing and productivity.

And as Britain battles to cope with yet more tough economic times, companies have been urged to act to reduce daylight deprivation amongst their workforces.

The research shows that more than three million workers don’t see daylight during their typical working day in Winter, while another one in three say they get less than half an hour of daylight a day.

Far from it being just a question of pasty skin and confused internal clocks, the study shows that almost a fifth of employees admit to a drop in productivity levels and over two fifths say their motivation drops.

The research by Kellogg’s shows the younger the team member, the higher the chance for a slump in productivity. Given their significance as the future of the UK’s workforce and the rise in working hours in recent decades, this is a situation that needs to be addressed.

So to combat this, one leading UK employer, Kellogg’s, has launched an initiative to reduce daylight deprivation by encouraging employees to either come into work an hour late or leave an hour early to ensure they see enough daylight during the working week in Winter.

Psychology Lecturer from Bath Spa University and Seasonal Affective Disorder specialist Dr Lance Workman says: "My own research suggests that two thirds of the British population report some lowering of mood during the winter months and an increase in lethargy. Research has shown that much of this can be alleviated by an increased opportunity to experience daylight. I would welcome any increase in flexibility in working hours for employees during the winter months that might then increase their chances of taking advantage of daylight."