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As the big ëreturn to workí starts. New Research: Winter Working Blues are age-related

Younger workers more gloomy about winter days, yet donít want an extra bank holiday<br />

As the annual ‘return to work’ week starts with the coldest weather for at least 25 years, new research shows that workers aged under 35 are twice as likely as their older colleagues to be off work in the winter because they are ‘under the weather’. They are also twice as likely to stay late at work because gloomy evenings don’t entice them out. But the research* by Elemense, a leading recruitment outsourcing firm, also shows that the under 35s are determined to ‘tough it out’ and are least likely to want an extra bank holiday in autumn to break up the long gap between late summer and the Christmas holidays.

Keith Sammons, managing director at Elemense, explained: ’We are now in the depths of winter. Days are just past their shortest and it seems a long time ago that we were enjoying the late summer bank holiday in August. Yet the popular view that an extra bank holiday is needed isn’t supported by our research - only 43% of workers argued for one and the under 35s were the least keen. It’s interesting that the under 35s who work longer to put off their journeys home in the darker nights are also more likely to be off work under the weather in winter. This might suggest that while they are least interested in an extra day off in autumn that they might be the very group that could benefit most.’

Chris Wollen from office maintenance experts Ergro Group commented: ‘We are seeing more firms than ever ask us to think about the right lighting and more comfortable working conditions - especially when they plan modifications in the winter months. It seems that avoiding the winter blues is a real management priority now.’

Elemense’s research is part of a year long study into various elements of work. Other research shows how people use their own time and money to recession-proof their skills. Full reports are available at www.elemense.com

Elemense provides Recruitment Process Outsourcing (RPO) to a wide range of organisations. Activities include working with temporary and permanent workforces across a wide range of industries and disciplines at all levels. From apprentices and graduates through all grades to boardroom positions, Elemense provides tailored solutions in over 300 locations. Elemense is part of Matchtech PLC, an AIM listed company.