5 Ways to Tackle the Sunday Scaries in Your Contact Centre


The Sunday Scaries are the heavy sense of anxiety and dread that sets in on Sunday afternoon as you look toward the workweek ahead

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Did you see the new research by the Office for Health Improvement and Disparities?

It’s shown that one in seven Britons experience anxiety about the week ahead – dubbed the ‘Sunday Scaries’ – with workplace stress being found to be the most common trigger.

If you think your team might be experiencing the Sunday Scaries, it’s time to do something about it.

5 Positive Steps to Help Eliminate the Sunday Scaries

1. Start the Conversation

Whether in a team meeting, your 1-to-1s, or a contact-centre-wide survey, putting the topic on the table is a small yet powerful starting point.

As identified on the Every Mind Matters website, a key way to help others with mental health problems is to ‘Express concern and say you can help’ – so making time to acknowledge the existence of the Sunday Scaries can be a positive first step to better mental health in your contact centre.

2. …And Keep It Going!

To help keep the conversation going and stop any mention of workplace stress being a flash in the pan, you could invite solutions – big and small – from your teams. You could even start a committee to create opportunities to drive longer-term positive change.

3. Introduce a “Moan and Move On” Debrief

Sometimes workplace anxiety stems from tasks or situations hanging over individuals from the week (or shift) before.

Sometimes workplace anxiety stems from tasks or situations hanging over individuals from the week (or shift) before.

Some may even have worried since the end of their last shift, preventing them from enjoying their downtime and recharging as they should.

One way to tackle this is to introduce regular ‘moan and move on’ debrief sessions, where people have the opportunity (in person or online) to offload about any issues they have on their mind.

This can act as a great circuit breaker – giving them opportunity to vent before heading home or, for bigger challenges, putting it on their manager’s radar for further discussion and support on their next shift.

4. Train Managers in Mental Health

Digging a little deeper, the recent publication of a WHO ‘Guidelines on mental health at work’ report included a strong recommendation for manager training for mental health:

“Training managers to support their workers’ mental health should be delivered to improve managers’ knowledge, attitudes and behaviours for mental health and to improve workers’ help-seeking behaviours […] which comprises components such as mental health and psychosocial risks (e.g. job stressors) knowledge, early identification and response to emotional distress, taking appropriate actions to respond to distress (including referral to other sources of support), and communication and active listening skills.”

Investing in training is key to building up awareness across the people managers in the contact centre. Not only will it help them to spot early-warning signs of workplace stress, but this type of investment also sends a strong message that any mental health concerns will be taken seriously.

5. Train Up Mental Health First Aiders

Beyond management training, you could also ask for volunteers across the contact centre who might like to be trained as Mental Health First Aiders – in a similar fashion to First Aiders.

A Mental Health First Aider course (such as those offered by MHFA England) helps individuals to gain the knowledge and skills to spot signs of people experiencing poor mental health, be confident to start a conversation and signpost a person to appropriate support. All supporting a longer-term approach to better managing workplace stress.

Published On: 14th Oct 2022
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