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Annie Hayes



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Workers dread holiday return


Suffering from post-holiday blues is a real concern for employers with latest findings showing that nearly 60% of employees dread returning to work after a break.

The research conducted by Investors in People looks at employee attitudes to work as the summer draws to a close.

Motivation was the key concern for most respondents with the majority saying that employers didn’t help spark enthusiasm upon return.

Just under half, 44% said a simple ‘welcome back’ would improve matters with 58% admitting that they just wanted their boss to show they care.

Workers also showed they take matters into their own hands. Over half, 51% say that they book another holiday or vow to leave work on time. A third of employees seek to improve their enjoyment at work with 19% seeking out new projects while 14% take the more drastic step of looking for a new job.

Chief Executive at Investors in People, Ruth Spellman comments:

“You can understand employees’ reluctance to return to the old routine, but it’s less easy to see why bosses aren’t reacting as their workforce wavers before their eyes. They’ve got to do what they can to help employees settle back in and keep them motivated long after the tan has faded – or enthusiasm and productivity will evaporate. Employers must take action before eagerness for change leads to a determination to leave.”

A quarter of respondents said that over-flowing in-trays or inboxes undermined their enthusiasm for getting stuck in after a holiday. A lack of progress on projects served to dent enthusiasm for 19% while more worryingly 52% said that a holiday had no effect on their input at work and didn’t improve their performance.

Spellman adds: “It’s so clear that the simple steps count. It doesn’t take much to say ‘welcome back’, and the research shows it could have a massive effect on motivation. Exploring work-life balance initiatives can also be a major boost because it shows employers care about employee needs, that they’re willing to be flexible. Britain’s bosses need to realise their own behaviour makes a big difference – this research is a wake up call”.

The research highlights the following steps employers could take to help boost staff performance on a day-to-day basis:

* 45% of employees would like management to offer them the opportunity to learn new skills
* 37% would like to be offered more flexible working hours (with a further 34% citing opportunities to work from home)
* 34% would like to be offered new challenges or projects
* 31% would value clear direction from management and a quarter of employees would like to have more opportunity to provide management with feedback

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Annie Hayes


Read more from Annie Hayes

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