Bosses blamed for 'back to work blues'

Aug 31 2004 by Brian Amble Print This Article

The holiday season is nearly over. The tan is fading, and millions of us are heading back to our desks refreshed and raring to go. Or not.

According to a survey by government-backed body Investors in People (IIP), only a quarter of Britons return from their holidays feeling refreshed and almost six out of ten are less-than delighted about going back to work after a break.

Fewer than four out of ten of those surveyed felt a holiday improved their work performance, while half said it had no effect on their productivity.

But to work after break certainly has an effect on attitudes. Half said they were determined to spend less time at work and one in ten were simply hoping to be able to take a full hour lunch break.

And a third of the 2,000 people surveyed said that coming back to work inspires them considered making real changes in their lives such as looking for a new job or new project.

But a fifth simply decided to book another holiday.

For many, any positive effects gained from taking a holiday are erased as soon as they get into the office and see a full in-tray or overflowing email inbox.

Six out of ten said they would feel better about this if their boss made some comment or gesture to show that they cared, with four out of ten saying that just hearing a cheery "welcome back" would help them perk up.

But for some one in eight people, nothing anybody says to them will lift the post-holiday blues.

As Ruth Spellman, chief executive of IIP said, " it doesn't take much to say 'welcome back', and the research shows it could have a massive effect on motivation."

Employers must take action before eagerness for change leads to a determination to leave," she added. "It's so clear that the simple steps count."