News

Beat the Sunday night blues with more pay, a banana and a hug

4 min read

14 September 2015

A third of British workers said they suffer from the Sunday night blues every week and want more help at work to cope.

Everyone has felt the Sunday blues at some stage of their school or working life, but a new study has revealed that a third of British workers experience it every single week.

Recruitment firm Adecco said 29 per cent of British workers admitted that they spend every Sunday dreading the coming working week, with a quarter so scared that they have been forced to call in sick.

One in ten said that they have even left a job due to such overwhelming feelings of dread. An additional third, 36 per cent, of workers would now consider leaving their employer due to such severe Sunday blues.

Even whilst away from work during the weekend or on holiday, over half, 56 per cent, of UK workers said they find it difficult to switch off from their day-to-day working life. When asked by Adecco how they felt ahead of a new working week, over four in ten workers said they felt depressed, anxious or stressed, compared to just a quarter, 23 per cent, who feel prepared. 

Adecco said feelings of “Sunday dread” frequently spill over into the workplace itself, with a third, 33 per cent, of workers describing their workplace as unhappy and a quarter prepared to leave an employer as a result.

Over half, 57 per cent, believed that their heavy workload contributes to their feelings of anxiety towards the workplace whilst a third, 33 per cent, cited office politics as a contributing factor. 

As part of the research, Adecco asked workers what factors would make them happier about their workplace. Half of workers said that a salary increase would make them feel happier whilst a quarter said they wanted more support from their manager. A quarter also claimed that flexible working practices would improve their negative feelings towards the workplace with 12 per cent stating that free fruit would put a smile back on their face.

“Time away from the workplace should be relaxing, energising and set us up for the week ahead. It is therefore worrying that so many workers spend their weekends and holidays full of anxiety and dread about their return to work on Monday morning. And as many people return from summer trips and time away from work, it is clear that it is not just children who are dreading a return to school,” said Alex Fleming, managing director at Adecco. 

“Getting the Sunday blues is common but it is unacceptable for this to begin to affect your quality of life. Make sure you talk to your employer and discuss the things you could work together to change about your workplace and working arrangements to ease those feelings of anxiety. Simple steps such as regular catch ups with your line manager can go a long way in improving your view of your workplace.”

The full list of factors UK workers believed will make a happy workplace were:

  • A better salary – 48 per cent
  • A more supportive manager – 25 per cent
  • Flexible working arrangements – 25 per cent
  • Improved benefits – 24 per cent
  • Greater recognition from your colleagues – 16 per cent
  • A light and airy office – 15 per cent
  • A better team fit – 13 per cent
  • A new job – 13 per cent
  • Improved technology and gadgets – 12 per cent
  • Free fruit – 12 per cent.