Thursday, 14 January 2016

Blue Monday-itis and the sad truth about depression at work

Blue Monday this year falls on 18 January.  The third Monday in January was identified by university tutor Cliff Arnall as the most miserable day of the year.  Whilst other academics are sceptical of Arnall's research, the day nonetheless has one of the highest rates of absenteeism of the year.  Coincidence?  Not so, says absence management expert Adrian Lewis of Activ Absence.

"Our customers always report a spike in sickness absence on this day - I jokingly told my colleagues that I'd be keeping an eye out for Blue Monday-itis!" he said.

On days where absence is higher than the norm, there is the perception that everyone is just taking sickies.  However, depression and stress are very real illnesses, and 'Blue Monday' could simply be the straw that broke the camel's back.

It's vital to remember that employees are not always honest in their reasons for taking sick leave, and Adrian says that employers should look at a pattern of sickies and consider whether depression may be a factor.  Indeed, new research from the UK’s largest job site CV-Library, revealed that  63.5% of sufferers wouldn’t give their depression as the reason for calling in sick and would use a different excuse.   Click here to continue reading...

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