Belfast Telegraph

Saturday 23 August 2014

Summer time, and the living is easy

The odd heavy shower or two aside, it seems that summer is finally upon us.

It is the time of year when the business world slows down, people take holidays and deals take a little longer to get done as a result.

Phones take longer to answer, offices are emptier and lunches seem to get that bit stretched too.

Analysts have been quick to note that volumes on the financial markets dip considerably at this time of year and many investment classes adopt something of a holding pattern in fixed ranges until everyone is back on board — unless of course another banking meltdown was to trigger panic again.

For journalists it can be a tricky time, finding out the executive you need urgent comments from for a story deadline in two hours won’t be back from his annual jaunt to Antigua for another two weeks.

But it seems a lot of bosses adopt a more kind-hearted approach when the sun is shining and the weather is hot.

A survey last week of 1,300 workers found that one in 16 are going to be allowed to watch or listen to the Ashes cricket test matches between England and Australia.

The same has probably been true of Wimbledon, where with the BBC’s live streaming of matches you’d have been hard pushed to find someone in your office who didn’t know about Andy Murray’s progress or the day when the much vaunted roof got its sole workout.

Bosses surveyed about the cricket said they were allowing staff to follow the games at work because they feared they would take a ‘sickie’ if they were not allowed to.

With only a smattering of cricket fans its unlikely the Northern Ireland economy will feel any effect.

But with the Ulster summer usually over in the blink of an eye, you wouldn’t bet against the odd worker being tempted to take a sick day off to enjoy the sun. The only problem is that tell-tale tan when you go back!

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