The changing nature of the holiday

Recession has bought one question to mind here as the holiday season starts – does it bring more frivolity or less?

Last year few of us on our August breaks anticipated what we were about to experience in terms of economic turbulence for the ensuing 12 months. This year there is hopefully less of a smokescreen against the Autumn and for many white collar professionals it is more about taking some invaluable time out to reflect on careers and values which have been turned upside down over the last year.

In a boom there is a large opportunity-cost in taking a holiday compared to taking a break in a recession. This year many will be happier to walk away for August and take time out compared to other years. However, we believe less people will be taking time out completely but having more of a longer ‘working break’.

As an increasing number of entrepreneurs are now popping up as a result of the recession, it means many are likely to be working from home over the August period as opposed to taking a shorter but more complete break. Compared to other years workers will be less likely to put down their tools altogether. OfficePOD’s garden office solution provides the ability to easily work from home over the summer break; with an escape from the main living space without commuting altogether and where downtime from work can be spent in your own garden rather than on a park bench or at the desk.

In recession it makes sense to take longer breaks with friends and family, shutting the head office but keeping the machine running. Technology permits that the offices of SMEs can be run virtually from almost anywhere. Working from home over August means that participation in leisure time over the holiday period is ever possible and commute time is eliminated. So if it is done efficiently, there is no reason why August cannot become a more flexible month with shorter working hours.

Increasingly large British firms, like KPMG for example, are embracing flexible working, showing they are keen to retain talent and allowing more of their workers to operate from home. Management are becoming more innovative to keep hold of employees. This means that the traditional two to three week holiday in August might not prevail but will start to take on different variations, including working from home.