Today (Monday 15th) is touted as the day that Briton’s are at their most unhappy as winter weather, empty bank accounts and failing New Year’s resolutions all take their toll on the nation’s psyche.
UKFast CEO Lawrence Jones is calling on business leaders to use the day to focus on their workforce’s health and wellbeing and make ‘Blue Monday’ a thing of the past.
Hosting firm UKFast is renowned for taking the wellbeing of its team seriously with a range of initiatives designed to keep employees at the top of their game. An on-site gym, free yoga classes, sleeping pods and continuous professional development all play their part in staving off the blues associated with this time of year.
Jones said: “I wholeheartedly disagree with the idea of Blue Monday, whilst it is positive to talk about feeling the ‘January Blues’ days like this are almost telling you to feel down! Instead, let’s use it to promote positive conversations and do what we can to help people to feel better.
“If teammates are feeling under the weather, it’s up to us as business leaders to try to create an environment where they feel they can talk to the people around them.
“There are so many things we can do to ensure people feel supported in the workplace. At UKFast we have a policy that no person manages more than six people at any given time. It’s simple but it guarantees that people are never far away from a supportive helping hand and no-one can slip through the net.
“As the saying goes, ‘a problem shared is a problem halved’ and if every member of your team has a manager that they feel they can talk to, that’s a great start. Business leaders and managers need to be great listeners if they are truly going to support people.”
This week, Jones’ firm is launching a “Wellness Week”, providing homemade healthy treats like superfood salads, smoothies and porridge, alongside a host of additional activities like Zumba classes and Swedish massages.
Jones continued: “As a business leader, it’s essential that you consider the type of environment you build for your team. It’s very easy to think you’ve ticked the boxes because you’ve got a couple of sofas and a table tennis table, but there’s more to it than that. It’s about creating an environment where everyone feels happy to be themselves.
“Mental health isn’t defined by a date in the diary. It’s easy for life to get on top of you, especially when we’re constantly engaging with devices that are supposed to make life easier for us but in reality make it more and more difficult to switch off.
“At UKFast we encourage people to go home on time and switch off from work when they get home. I don’t believe you’ll get value out of people if they’re tired of work and burned out. It’s a false economy to have people working late into the night.”
UKFast is officially Manchester’s best place to work, after being named the fifth Best Workplace in the UK in the Sunday Times Top 100 Best Companies to Work For.