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Beat the “Blue Monday” Blues


What is the news?

Today is officially “Blue Monday” and arguably the most depressing day of the year.

What does the news mean?

The concept came about in 2005 when psychologist Dr Cliff Arnall was asked by holiday firm Sky Travel to identify the most miserable date in the calendar. Arnall devised a formula based on a number of factors (including weather, debt, monthly salary, time since Christmas, time since failing new year’s resolutions, low motivational levels and the feeling of a need to take action) to conclude that generally, people are unhappiest on the third Monday in January. If this is the case then to maintain productivity and a happy working environment, employers may want to think of ways to prevent this day from being as miserable as it has been marketed.

What do we think of the news? 

Is it possible that there can be a single most depressing day in an entire year? Is this phenomenon yet another PR stunt (think Black Friday, Cyber Monday etc.) allowing companies to capitalise on a mere assumption? Since coming up with the formula, Arnall himself has admitted that it is essentially pseudoscience and has described Blue Monday as a self-fulfilling prophecy.

There’s no denying that for some January can be a difficult time after a busy and expensive festive period, however as an employer there are many things that you can do to boost employee morale and productivity (both short and long term) in the workplace:

  • Value your employees: Acknowledge the good work of your employees and ensure that this means appreciation is engrained into the culture of your organisation. Internal awards, employees of the week, nominations, a thank you card or voucher etc. can go a long way. In turn, happy and motivated staff will want to work in a way to achieve maximum productivity.
  • Embrace flexible working: In 2018, the Office for National Statistics found that 15 per cent of UK workers said a lack of flexibility sometimes made them feel isolated from friends and family while one in ten said it was having or has had a negative impact on their health and wellbeing. Have a look at what works for your business and consider what your employees may want.
  • Implement dress down days: A perk which is easy and free to implement, dress down days bring staff together and give them something to look forward to. It is a positive way to mark the start of the weekend or can be a great excuse to raise funds for charity.

If you would like to talk through any concerns you may have in relation to employee engagement, you can contact Solicitor, Heena Kapadi on T: 0161 358 0540 or E: heenakapadi@hrclaw.co.uk or Associate, Siobhan Howard-Palmer on T: 0161 358 0537 or E: siobhanhoward-palmer@hrclaw.co.uk.

 This contains a general overview of information only. It does not constitute, and should not be relied upon, as legal advice. You should consult a suitably qualified lawyer on any specific legal problem or matter.