10 Apr 2012
I was perusing through Twitter over the Easter weekend when I saw a killjoy headline on Sky News about bank holiday breaks costing the UK economy billions.
According to the Centre for Economic and Business Research (CEBR) every bank holiday costs the UK economy £2.3bn in lost productivity, and it called for them to be more evenly spread throughout the year.
Granted, bank holidays do seem to be like buses - you wait weeks and weeks for one and then two come along at once - but the hard working UK population needs this breaks to recharge their batteries and get their heads back in working order.
Speaking to my valued contacts this year it appears everyone has been in the same boat. It has been absolutely non-stop this year since we returned from the Christmas break - and for many it has been the first proper break since then.
I know it has for me.
While it is great to be busy, and I wouldn't have it any other way - you need to get away from work every now and again for your own sanity.
Also what the CEBR seemingly failed to take into account was the fact that when it is a bank holiday, those on their well-earned breaks actually go out and spend money - therefore pumping it back into often struggling sectors - such as retail and tourism.
Surely that is no bad thing?
Although my experiences at the weekend, trying to spend a gift voucher purchased from Sainsbury's, was one I don't want to repeat in a hurry. Let's just say after an angry Tweet and follow-up phone call today I'm still not happy!
So in my humble opinion - if there are several bank holidays in a row, then so what?
Most office workers get everything done before going on their break anyway, often working twice as hard to ensure they are in a comfortable position when they return - so technically they are doing more work.
Of course you will always get a percentage of people who take advantage, but there is not a lot that can be done about them.
Overall a rested and happy workforce is far better than a stressed out, unproductive one, and I think it is something that the CEBR should bear in mind before releasing statements such as this one.