Shaun Subel, Director at VitalityHealth, comments on Blue Monday: “Mental wellbeing is proven to link to both productivity and physical wellbeing, meaning individuals’ physical health and work output are at risk when they suffer from stress or depression. Research from Britain’s Healthiest Company shows that almost three quarters (73%) of the working population are suffering from at least one aspect of work-related stress. The most common sources of such stress are unrealistic demands and time pressures in the workplace (51%), not being consulted about change (31%), and a lack of control in the tasks people are doing at work (27%).

“These stresses may be felt more acutely around Blue Monday as employees struggle to cope with the short winter days, cold weather and low motivation levels they may be experiencing at this time of year. We also know that there are many other sources of stress, unrelated to the workplace, which can have a parallel impact on productivity. One source of stress especially associated with this time of year is financial concerns, which our results show affects 23% of respondents.

“Companies are increasingly aware of the effects of poor mental health on work performance and wellbeing, and many are putting measures in place to counteract the ill effects of stress and low morale. Almost 60% (59%) of companies provide stress management information and a third of companies offer work-life balance programmes (34%) and stress management programmes (32%). However, despite growing awareness of the importance of mental wellbeing in the workplace, it remains for many a complex and emotive issue, and therefore better communication and authentic support from leadership is crucial in informing employees of the benefits of engaging with these initiatives to help reduce stress and improve morale.”