Employers are at risk of lowered employee morale due to Blue Monday

By Catherine Sturman
Today has been deemed‘Blue Monday,’ which has become renowned as one of the most depressing days of the year, and could impact business productivity...

Today has been deemed ‘Blue Monday,’ which has become renowned as one of the most depressing days of the year, and could impact business productivity not just today, but throughout the year.

The emphasis on the mental health of employees has gained momentum in recent years, and with good reason. To ensure effective business growth, the welfare of employees remains paramount in order to ensure the reduction of ill health and stress employees endure both at work and at home.  

Shaun Subel, Strategy Director at VitalityHealth, explained how the effects of ill-health and stress can have on productivity at work: “Mental health is emerging as a key workplace issue due to its prevalence, variability, and the negative impacts it has on employees’ health and productivity.

While mental wellbeing issues are magnified at this time of year due to the darker days, cold weather, and post-Christmas blues, it is important that employers recognise that this is a problem which affects employees all year round. Not only do we see from our research that over half of UK employees are suffering from some form of mental health issue in the workplace, but there are multiple different causes – including work-related stress, financial concerns and depression – making this an extremely challenging issue to tackle.

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Mental health is not just one of the top drivers of absence from work, but we have also seen that it is a significant driver of presenteeism, whereby people underperform at work due to their state of health, and is often linked to other health risks, such as a lack of sleep, and negative lifestyle behaviours, including poor nutrition and excess alcohol consumption.

All of this underlines the need for employers to understand the different causes of stress and mental ill-health within their organisation, and to take a proactive and holistic approach to managing this through establishing a culture which ensures employees feel supported, and able to talk about the issues they may be facing.”     

Employers will need to continue to provide support to those in need in order to transform their businesses and operating models to provide growth of employees and the improvement of present service offerings.

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