Broadstone Employee Benefits

Why “Dry January” matters… Could it be the refresh that your workforce needs?

Everyone overindulges at Christmas; and after the restrictions in force in 2021, why not do whatever it is that brings you joy? But as with every other year, January is a popular time for people to focus their energy into wellbeing, detoxing and generally being more determined to achieve personal goals.

This is what has led to the popularity of Dry January. It is widely recognised that financial uncertainty, stress, grief and loneliness can be drivers in the over-consumption of alcohol; and with all of the changes and sacrifices we have all had to make since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic, it is fair to say that we have all experienced one or more of these feelings – regardless of whether or not we have turned to the bottle.

Why would someone want to participate in Dry January when the uncertainty goes on? In a study conducted by Alcohol Change UK [1], they discovered that:

  • 86% of participants save money
  • 70% sleep better and 66% have more energy
  • 65% of people notice generally improved health
  • The number of Dry January participants reporting weight loss is 58%.

There has never been a better time for employers to support their people in a personal wellness journey, either through setting wellness challenges, providing health & wellbeing benefits to help them get started, or supporting them as they choose to cut back on alcohol.

Reducing alcohol intake or cutting it out completely has many health benefits – both physically and mentally. Completing a full alcohol-free month has a lot of benefits: research published in 2018, conducted by the Royal Free Hospital and published in the British Medical Journal, found that a month of sobriety lowers blood pressure and cholesterol, reduces the risk of diabetes, and also decreases levels of cancer-related proteins in the blood. [2]

All this ties back into how employees feel whilst working; contributing towards reduced absenteeism and lost productivity from alcohol, which are estimated to cost businesses around £7.3bn each year. [3]

More energy, means higher productivity – which can have nothing but positive effects in relation to the output and quality of work produced by your employees.

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So how can you support Dry January as an employer?

As well as the many benefits to participants of Dry January, it is also beneficial for businesses to get involved and support them. There are many ways to offer support and encourage a month of sobriety.

As an employer, you could tap into the competitive side that most of us have – by holding competitions and rewarding the employee that raises the most for charity – whether this be through abstaining from alcohol consumption or through many other methods.

“Dry events” also help people on their journey through Dry January; you could host an afternoon tea party, mocktail making events or many other things that exclude the consumption of alcohol, to encourage people to socialise with one another and have fun without the need to pop open a bottle.

If you are looking at ways to offer better health & wellbeing benefits to employees, or even if you would like a chat about the ways in which people like you are working to retain a happy and motivated workforce – you can read more about how Broadstone could be the solution to your staff recruitment and retention problems here.

New ways to engage your employees will contribute towards better outcomes and delivery of your objectives. So even if you have ideas that you would like to get the ball rolling on, or even if something has worked for you in the past and you would like to share your experience, please get in touch as we would love to hear from you.

 

Sources:

[1] https://alcoholchange.org.uk/get-involved/campaigns/dry-january/why-do-dry-january-1/why-do-dry-january

[2] https://bmjopen.bmj.com/content/bmjopen/8/5/e020673.full.pdf

[3] https://alcoholchange.org.uk/get-involved/campaigns/dry-january/get-involved/dry-january-for-workplaces