Top 10 tips for coping with Blue Monday

Published by Marianna Marks on 22 January 2015
in Improving efficiency, Improving safety, Staff well-being, Washrooms, Workwear, Water dispensing, Waste management, Safety & compliance

The third Monday in January is widely reported as being the most depressing day of the year when taking into account factors such as weather conditions, debt and the amount of time since Christmas.

To help businesses limit the effects of Blue Monday on the workplace, we at PHS have pulled together our top 10 tips for coping with this drab day.

1. Detox

January is traditionally the time when people focus on optimising their lifestyles by cutting out the excesses consumed in the last few months. In addition to feeling more energised, proponents of a regular detox often cite having greater focus and clarity amongst the many associated benefits.

Detoxing your workplace can be similarly beneficial. Most of us spend more waking hours at work than in your home (unless you work at home.) So, making sure that your workplace is as healthy as possible is essential.”

2. Clear away the clutter

A cluttered environment causes stress both in and outside of the workplace. In addition to increasing the risk of missed deadlines, working longer hours and losing important things, researchers at UCLA have found that clutter can cause a similar reaction within your brain as multi-tasking.

3. Safety first

As well as ensuring businesses meet their Health & Safety obligations, it is suggested that companies ensure their employees do not have to work amongst waste.

By removing unnecessary waste from your premises, employees can enjoy a feeling of care and well-being. This also extends to clearing your sites and cupboards of waste (paints, glues, resins, out of date cleaning materials) which can add to a feeling of clutter and chaos.

4. Safeguard those assets

As well as creating space by way of discarding or moving items to an alternative location, many organisations have a need for storing or disposing of confidential items.

Data is one of your organisation’s most valuable assets and the impact to your company’s reputation of incorrect data handling can be disastrous.

This makes it essential for organisations to choose a supplier that is experienced in managing data throughout its lifecycle to reduce risks and costs, ensuring Data Protection compliance.

5. Banish those bugs

With an average of 30% of people not washing their hands after using the toilet, washroom doors are a recognised breeding ground for germs.

As well as regular hand washing and cleaning of surfaces such as desks and keyboards, there is a lot to be said for stocking up on antibacterial wipes and hand sanitiser, or investing in products such as SteriHandle®, which is scientifically proven to kill up to 99.99% of E.coli and MRSA in just 10 minutes.

6. Embrace the green

As well as aesthetics, there is significant research to support the health effect claims of plants in the workplace.

The benefits of plants in the workplace include a significant reduction in stress and a 38% reduction in fatigue according to just one study. Plants can also reduce dust levels by up to 20 per cent, making them a cost-effective solution for combating the workplace blues.

7. Keep hydrated

Providing adequate drinking water in the workplace is a legal requirement.

Even slight levels of dehydration have been found to have a negative impact on people’s moods. Access to plenty of water can drastically improve staff morale and make work a more pleasant environment to be in.

Using a dispenser from a reputable supplier not only purifies water direct from the mains, but also delivers it ready to drink in a choice of chilled, hot or sparkling.

8. Check your compliance

According to research by Electrical Safety First, portable heaters have caused 73 deaths, around 1,000 injuries and more than 3,800 fires in the UK in the past five years.

People often overload sockets in the office without realising it when using additional portable appliances, such as small fan heaters. Whilst the warmth is welcome, this additional electrical load can create a significant fire risk.

So, don’t overload sockets and ensure regular checks are performed on portable appliances. You should also conduct regular fixed wire inspections so as to fully comply with current workplace legislation.

9. Be safe

A large number of employers require specialist and technical workwear. To ensure workwear stays hygienic and continues to provide adequate protection, it’s important to look for a supplier that offers a fully maintained rental and laundry service.

Not only should this give you full traceability, but it ensures your workforce is equipped with comfortable, light and practical clothing, that above all provides optimum protection in a range of environments.

10. Plan ahead

Companies that embrace changing workplace conditions and a more flexible workforce are regularly listed as the top companies to work for. Whilst it makes sense to mitigate risk, it is also worth taking inspiration from these companies.

People like organisations that offer more than a place to work. To make your company stand out, it is worth looking at the business holistically and investing in areas where you can make a statement as well as fulfilling duty of care.

by Marianna Marks in Improving efficiency, Improving safety, Staff well-being, Washrooms, Workwear, Water dispensing, Waste management, Safety & compliance