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April 2011: Where is everyone?

March 25, 2011

Since I began working life in 1997 I always relished the prospect of the Easter holidays. The combination of the Good Friday and Easter Monday bank holidays made for a lovely long weekend without needing to use up any annual leave.

This year, however it is turning into a bonanza of free time as a late Easter (pretty much as late as it can fall – 24th April) and a Royal Wedding combine to produce a very strange few weeks. The Friday/Monday long weekend that we are used to with Easter repeats itself the following weekend with the Friday 29th being the Royal Wedding and May 2nd being the traditional May day Bank holiday.

In addition, the school holidays don't straddle Easter as they usually do and start around April 15th in most areas, as tired children can't wait until April 22nd to break up.

All this is leading me to wonder – will anyone be at work in April? I am wondering if offices and commuter routes will be like ghost towns and whether we'll get anything done in April at all? An American client told me late last year that they notice this kind of effect towards the end of the year in the US. People begin winding down at Thanksgiving at the end of November and nothing picks up properly until January.

You can imagine that at many points in April, key people won't be around. Numbers of staff will dwindle mid April as people take time off for the school holidays and when they return, those without school age children will take time off to capitalise on the numerous bank holidays.

Those looking to launch a new website, get a CRM project off the ground or promote an event around this time will become familiar with the phrase "I think we’ll just leave it until early May, when everyone's back".

So if you've got some important jobs to do in April, and need key people's sign off, my advice would be: Do it now while you are at full strength in the office!  Saying that, when we're enjoying our second long weekend in a row, I don’t think we'll dwell too much on the disruption it's causing to our working life. There's one thing for certain for us Brits: B&Q will be busy.

Posted by Jenni Malley
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