How to stomp the Sunday Scaries out of your team

Written by Annie Makoff-Clark Wednesday 22 March 2023
While the term might seem a little frivolous, the Monday blues can be a sign of some serious cultural issues – and can have a devastating impact on employee retention and productivity

Suzie Henriques CMgr would wake up every Sunday with a knot in her stomach, a tight chest and a bad temper. “When the whole of Sunday feels like a write-off and anxiety eats into non-working time, you know you have a problem.”

Suzie, who now offers a professional CV writing service through her company The CV Bee, was experiencing the “Sunday Scaries”. It’s used to describe the sense of dread, anxiety or trepidation about the week ahead that often appears on a Sunday or the last day of a holiday. While it’s not a new phenomenon, work-related anxiety has increased exponentially since the pandemic.

Government research has revealed that seven in 10 UK employees experience Sunday Scaries on a regular basis. Last year, Google searches for “Sunday Scaries” increased by 100% when many employees returned to the office after two years of remote working. 

A recent survey by HR software provider Ciphr showed that nearly one in two senior managers experience Sunday Scaries several times a year, with 5% of managers experiencing it every week. The cost-of-living crisis, exhaustion and burnout along with workload and unfinished work tasks were among the main causes of stress for senior managers.

Culture is how employees’ hearts and stomachs feel about Monday morning on a Sunday night

In Suzie’s experience, her anxiety came as quite a shock. When she first started her role in 2019, she was optimistic and enthusiastic. It was a public sector role, which she was particularly excited about. But despite having a great team and manager, she experienced some major setbacks.

Keep reading to learn how to tackle the Sunday Scaries


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