Work comes low on list of priorities during the recent cold snap

Hannah ThompsonYouGovLabs and UK Public Opinion Website Editor
March 05, 2010, 1:06 AM GMT+0

In the wake of the iciest winter in years, a recent survey, conducted for Wildfire PR on behalf of Citrix Online, has found that while most British adults experienced problems travelling to work, the majority were largely unconcerned and listed this among the least annoying effects of the weather.

A sizeable 45% of workers found their journey to work was disrupted, and a small but surprising four percent claimed that they had lost a staggering 20 or more hours in one week alone. While an altogether more reassuring 41% reported not losing any working time, less than a third (26%) reported no travel problems during the entire snowy period.

Despite this, it seems that work wasn’t the primary concern. A question specifically asking workers what they had found to be the most annoying effect of the wintry weather found that 70% were more worried about the lack of grit on the roads than about their ability to arrive at work on time – a reminder of the extent of the derision levelled on local councils at the height of the freeze. The fear of collision loomed larger than its actual incidence, however; the poll found that only three percent overall suffered accidents as a result of the salt shortage.

In fact, only 21% reported annoyance at not being able to get to work and an even smaller 13% upset at not being able to work at all. But absence in the workplace did not seem to translate into leisure time at home, with 18% feeling irritated about cancelling social plans, and 20% claiming annoyance at having to stay at home to look after children when schools closed. The winter wonderland wore thin; only 15% of those able to get into work felt any qualms that they were not able to stay at home to enjoy the snow.

Most were simply worried about their energy bills – the increased price of heating winter homes was reported as the second most pressing concern by 75% of those polled. It seems that when personal safety and financial concerns appear on the horizon, work worries disappear quicker than country lanes under sudden snowfall.

For survey details and full results, please click below