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How to turn Blue Monday less blue


Two Cambridge Judge Business School faculty members offer tips that can be used to help chase the blues away on Monday 16 January – through serendipity, mindfulness and other techniques. 

Blue Monday: the most depressing day of the year.

While it’s open to debate whether “Blue Monday” (on 16 January this year) is really the “most depressing day” of the year, there are ways to beat the blues as outlined by faculty at Cambridge Judge Business School. 

Blue Monday was so named because the weather is cold and grey, many people feel a post-Christmas letdown (financially and otherwise), and New Year’s resolutions are already failing.  

Two Cambridge Judge faculty who have thought a lot about how to chase workplace blues away are Thomas Roulet, Associate Professor in Organisation Theory, and Jochen Menges, Associate Professor of Organisational Behaviour – who share some of their thoughts as outlined in recent articles on the Cambridge Judge website: 

Thomas Roulet.
Dr Thomas Roulet

Cultivate your own luck

Serendipity can help people advance their careers and personal fulfillment, and there are three key steps people can take: keep an open mind, embrace change, and cast a wide net. “Nothing is ever just a matter of strategy, meticulous planning, and preparation”, so we all “must sometimes trust that randomness might lead to positive outcomes or unexpected strokes of luck.”

Read Dr Thomas Roulet's article "Cultivating luck"

Firms can help beat “quiet quitting”

While now a term in vogue, quiet quitting is not a new issue at all in the workplace, and companies can combat it through greater engagement and entrepreneurial autonomy for workers. Employees may be less blue if they are allowed to devise their own contributions to the organisation “instead of having tasks imposed on them in a top-to-bottom approach.”

Read Dr Thomas Roulet's article "Quiet quitting: what managers can do"

Jochen Menges.
Dr Jochen Menges

Make better use of saved commuting time

Many people now work from home at least some of the time, so making better use of time saved by not commuting can bring happiness. This freed-up time is now often “burned on unproductive work and unsatisfying leisure activities”, so people could be less blue if they used the time more productively. This includes establishing a work-home boundary even when working at home, pursuing “active” (sports) rather than “passive” (TV watching) leisure activities, and blocking out time away from Zoom and similar meeting systems for really important work.

Read Dr Jochen Menges' article "Timely advice"

Mindfulness matters

More mindful employees perceive their job as less boring and are less likely to quit, so firms should incorporate mindfulness training into the workplace as a promising way to increase work quality and lower turnover. Mindfulness can especially help people in repetitive or otherwise monotonous jobs, because it can make employees perceive their jobs as less boring and boost job satisfaction – making it less likely that they will leave.

Read Dr Jochen Menges' article "Mindfulness at work: why it matters"