Employee Benefits

What is Blue Monday, and why does it affect you as an employer?

It is safe to say that Monday is not many people’s favourite day of the week; whether it be Blue Monday or a random Monday in any given month. With the excitement of the festive period being over, personal goals adding extra weight onto everyone’s shoulders and pressure to detox and get fit; a decline in mood and mental health are all too likely for many.

But what is “Blue Monday”?

Dubbed as being “the most depressing day of the year”, Blue Monday always falls on the third Monday in January. It is widely considered to be the day that people realise that all their festive fun is over, winter has taken hold and for some, the financial strain of awaiting that January pay day after a longer month than usual sets in.

A helpful way to help your employees move past this, and not get the dreaded January blues is to turn Blue Monday into “Brew Monday” – a term originally coined by Samaritans. After the lockdowns, restrictions, financial losses, and illness that everyone has experienced over the last couple of years, it is more important than ever that mental health is prioritised and we all find ways to look after one another.

So this Brew Monday, why not consider encouraging your staff to have a video call with a colleague that is not about last month’s sales figures or when they are going to finish their report; but rather to have a fifteen minute break, grab a cup of tea or coffee, and talk about how they are – to have a conversation about anything other than work.

Things that you can do to help your staff this Blue Monday include:

  • Encourage people to diarise a 15-minute break, to have a chat with a colleague or call a loved one that they may not have touched base with for a while.
  • You could provide a free coffee morning or lunch and encourage your employees to interact and socialise with one another.
  • Get people moving by encouraging them to take a walk with a colleague at lunch time, or generally encourage movement throughout the day.
  • Encourage them to help a neighbour or do a good deed for someone else.

It is vital that health and wellbeing of employees is put at the top of the priority list, because without looking after it the impact on your employees’ ability to work efficiently and be happy to be working for you can set in quickly.

To Blue Monday and beyond

On top of the usual winter blues and bugs, it is now estimated that 1.3 million people in the UK are living with long COVID [1]. Pressure on our health and wellbeing is worse than ever, the NHS is feeling the strain and a lot of routine appointments are being postponed or even cancelled.

This is the reason many employers are seeking better health & wellbeing benefits for their employees, including employee assistance programs, access to virtual GP services and even private medical insurance. Within any company from any industry and of any size; offering a robust employee benefits program allows your employees to have freedom of choice and understand that their wellbeing is as important to you as it is to them. Providing greater support to a workforce, enabling them to avoid or manage health issues, is a way to reduce absenteeism and improve job satisfaction and general engagement.

Help your employees be the best version of themselves, so that you can bring out the best in them and work together towards a bright future for all.

[1]https://www.ons.gov.uk/peoplepopulationandcommunity/healthandsocialcare/conditionsanddiseases/bulletins/prevalenceofongoingsymptomsfollowingcoronaviruscovid19infectionintheuk/6january2022