Two thirds of employees globally are reportedly less productive in December than any other time of year, with over 65% of workers admitting they work up to 30% less during this period.
The reason? A combination of exhaustion, lack of motivation and hangovers, but this doesn't have to be the case.
Managing Director of online office catering leader Order-In, Jonathan Rowley says, "Although it's considered the 'silly season', this time of year doesn't have to be tiring or unproductive. In fact, there are numerous natural ways to stay awake and motivated. We've looked at our data to determine some interesting food ordering behaviours of Australian workers over the December period, and the potential link these have with energy and productivity levels, as well as the alternatives out there."
Jonathan adds, "The most notable trend in December is the significant rise in the popularity of morning/afternoon teas, finger food and platters. Platters offer variety, are good for sharing, and allow for people to mingle and chat with others while enjoying the food. Our data also reflects that the five most popular tea items over the silly are pastries and danishes; quiche, or filo pastry items; muffins, assorted cakes and cupcakes; arancini and cheese and antipasto platters."
Jonathan continues, "Although these items are delicious, lighter food options such as fruit and skewers are important in ensuring no one falls asleep at their desk."
To help keep people motivated during the silly season, Jonathan shares seven healthy and natural ways to stimulate your senses and keep you alert throughout the day:
Think outside the caffeine box
Matcha is a green fine powder, derived from tea leaves. Through its rich form of antioxidants, the tea prevents heart disease, cancer, reduces blood pressure and boosts metabolism. A healthier alternative to coffee which contains 60 mg of caffeine, one cup of matcha provides 34 mg where the effects last longer due to the natural substance called I-theanine.
Breathe in, breathe out
Controlling your breath is something simple and easy to do at your office desk. A deep breath moves oxygen to your body which boosts energy levels, and decreases stress and anxiety.
Go to the dark side
Cocoa beans combat those chocolate cravings while also containing caffeine. The darker the chocolate, the more caffeine and antioxidants! This lowers the risk of stroke, heart attacks, fosters a healthy digestive system and promotes brain function and growth - but like anything it should be consumed in moderation.
Sip it up
While 2.1 litres of water may sound unrealistic, our top tip is to keep a bottle of water at your desk and sip away. According to a study by Tufts University, dehydration causes fatigue, confusion and leaves you drowsy.
Drink like the Queen
While Green Tea only contains 24-40 mg of caffeine, it's rich in antioxidants giving you the energy effects of coffee without the jitters. Black tea provides the caffeine hit while carrying antioxidants, vitamins, and other stimulants that keep you alert, active and stress-free. Another great alternative is mint tea helping to activate your brain, prevent fatigue and memory loss.
It's true, an apple a day, keeps the doctor away. Containing a natural form of sugar called fructose an apple is a healthy snack that reduces fatigue without the crash in the afternoon. Additionally, apples contain good carbohydrates which allow your body to keep moving.
A short walk may be all it takes to recharge your batteries. Studies have shown that exposure to the sun and vitamin D improves alertness and performance. Also, vitamin D helps your body absorb calcium, fostering bone health, reducing heart disease and boosting your immune system.
Jonathan concludes, 'The above will help you get through the final few weeks of 2017 with ease, and see 2018 in with as much motivation as possible. Happy Holidays!"