Moneypenny and Chiswick Park banish ‘Blue Monday’

To help banish today’s ‘Blue Monday’ – the date widely regarded as the most depressing day of the year – employers across the country are promoting wellbeing initiatives designed to help staff beat start-of-year anxieties.

Outsourced receptionist firm Moneypenny (pictured) has exclusively revealed it has introduced the Calm meditation app on its ‘Pick n’ Mix’ benefits platform to all 1,000 members of staff.

The app was added last week and according to its group CEO, Joanna Swash, the aim of the daily programme is to boost employee wellbeing, giving staff, “the tools to help them clear their minds, de-stress their bodies, and enable them focus on one thing at a time.”

Swash added: “January can be a very difficult time for many, when energy levels naturally dip. But with the ongoing pandemic we felt it was even more important to help our staff mentally and physically.”

At Chiswick Park, the West London-based business campus home to the UK HQ’s of Starbucks to Paramount Pictures and Pernod Ricard, staff can now access its just-launched Workplace Wellbeing Programme.

Aimed at energising both in-office and remote working employees, all 10,000 staff who work for employers at the campus can now access a range of virtual classes, from yoga to body tapping, as well as webinars on nutrition and getting better sleep.

Carly Gibbs, head of guest experience, Chiswick Park Enjoy-Work, said: “Looking after our physical and mental wellbeing is even more important while the majority of us stay at home. The programme aims to create a healthy mindset and empower staff to become more productive and engaged at work.”

Both initiatives come as latest research by Close Brothers revealed that 41% of workers said they worry more about their mental health since the pandemic began. Its Changing Trends in Financial Wellbeing report also found that 45% worry more about their physical health, while 40% also admit they feel more anxious than before.

Commenting on Blue Monday, Rob Marshall, managing director of employee benefits platform, WorkLife, said: “A combination of job insecurity, separation from loved ones and an ever-present fear of catching Covid-19 is creating a toxic stew of worries.”

He added: “While Blue Monday may have originated as a marketing ploy, it presents as good a time as any for employers to consider the ongoing impact the pandemic is having on their workforce and for them to examine what they can be doing to support staff during this difficult time.”