As the Christmas holidays draw to a close, nearly half (46%) of workers admit they are suffering ‘back to work blues’ and aren’t looking forward to getting back to the daily grind, according to new research from workplace pensions provider NOW: Pensions.
In fact, of those not looking forward to their return, 13% confess they are ‘dreading it’.
Of the 2,000 people surveyed, nearly three quarters (72%) took time off over the festive season. On top of the bank holidays, most people took an additional six days leave. An unlucky 7% (the equivalent of 2.3m of the UK population) had to work every day over the Christmas period, including bank holidays.
The main cause of back to work blues is early starts cited by nearly half (46%) and lack of free time mentioned by 41%. Nearly a quarter (24%) say they miss their family while 23% admit they find their job boring. One in ten (14%) confess they dislike their boss.
For the one in five (17%) workers who are looking forward to going back to work, 40% say this is because they love their jobs, while nearly a third (31%) say they like the routine of being at work. 6% admit that a love interest in the office was the driving force for them wanting to return to work. This might explain why 3% ‘can’t wait’ to get back to work.
When asked what aspects of their job keeps them happy and prevents them looking for a job elsewhere, location tops the bill for over a third (35%) of those surveyed, convenience was mentioned by 33% and salary is the driving force for 29%. Despite ‘the boss’ coming down the list in seventh place in the UK, this shoots up to third for Londoners, with 33% saying it’s something that keeps them happy in their job.
Aside from salary, the most important benefits for employees are generous holiday entitlement (30%) and a generous pension scheme (26%). When asked what could improve their jobs, better pay was cited by nearly half of workers (46%), whilst 10% wanted shorter working hours.
Morten Nilsson, CEO of NOW: Pensions, said: "As December turns to January, and the tinsel comes off the Christmas tree, it's natural to feel a bit blue about the prospect of returning to work.
“Apart from a lucky minority, for most people work is a chore rather than a passion but, for a happier workforce, things like generous holidays and good pensions can go a long way and shouldn’t be under-estimated.”
The research from NOW: Pensions is another sign that employers face a fight to keep their staff motivated to work. Two other pieces of research published today (Tuesday) found that employers failed to motivate their staff in 2015, with 34% saying they were not motivating to work for the company at any point last year, and that a third of workers plan to change jobs in 2016.