Are only losers working this week?

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It's not easy coming back to work after long days of lethargy and overindulgence. But it's even less easy coming back if a significant proportion of people are still on holiday.

Calls yesterday suggest this may be the case, particularly among the headhunting community. Of around 20 people called, about 50% (many of them heads of firms) were still relaxing in the likes of the Caribbean or South East Asia, with many not coming back until the 11th.

"This first week of the year is one in which people are typically still away," said one headhunter (infant in tow). "A lot of people are skiing or in the Cayman Islands."

However, the head of HR at one American bank in London said this is not entirely true: "We have a few stragglers making their way back from Europe, but almost all our sales and trading people are back and we expect to be 95% up to speed by Wednesday."

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