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Sickie ‘Survey’

February 7th, 2006

Dr Petra

If you opened your newspaper or turned on the radio or TV yesterday, chances are you’d have learned it was ‘national sickie day’. In fact, since it’s allegedly a day for skiving off you probably heard about this story whilst you were avoiding work.

This new research wasn’t based on workforce attendance, trends in reported absences or employee audit.

No, it was a ‘survey’ of 4000 people by Sky Travel that asked people their reason for skiving off work, and how many sickies they took per year. The research predictably had no analysis of data, just a few percentages. Despite claiming the 6 February as the day most likely in all the year for people to take a sickie, the only evidence for this appeared to be a quote from psychologist Cary Cooper: “Early February is a very popular time for taking a ‘sickie’, the first bank holiday still seems a long way off, the days are gloomy, and many people are still feeling the post-Christmas blues.”

And the solution to all this skiving off? Is it a change to the work environment? Flexible working? Perhaps more opportunities at work? No, it’s book a holiday!

Hang on a second. Isn’t this all a bit familiar? Ah yes, less than two weeks ago we were told by Sky Travel and another psychologist (Cliff Arnall) that it was officially the most depressing day of the year. So we ought to BOOK A HOLIDAY!!

It’s bad enough that journalists don’t spot they’re being spun a load of nonsense once, but to be stung twice in a fortnight is pretty sad.

So either people aren’t bothering to check on the robustness of their press releases. Or they just don’t care.

Or maybe they’re simply skiving off.

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