Expect to see more empty desks around the UK this summer. An improving economy, climbing temperatures and longer days have more workers finding opportunities to get away from the office and enjoy a holiday. 67 per cent of full time workers in the UK say they plan to take time away from work this season, and 63 per cent will use the time to take a trip, up from 52 per cent last year.
While workers may be planning to take a holiday, many will not take a proper break from work. One in five (20 per cent) say they contact the office during their holiday, 17 per cent say they feel it is expected to check their email and 8 per cent feel they have to check their voicemail. This refusal to break away from work mode matches expectations from managers – nearly a third of managers (28 per cent) say they expect their employees to check in with work while on holiday.
“Taking time away from work not only improves work-life balance, but also overall productivity,” said Scott Helmes, Managing Director of CareerBuilder UK. “Sixty per cent of employees say they feel moderately or highly stressed in their jobs. Employee stress can be a real problem, especially with employees taking on expanded responsibilities and working more hours over the last few years. Getting out of the office – traveling or staying home – can alleviate some stress, improve worker satisfaction, and even offer new perspectives on ongoing projects.”
Helmes also suggests the following tips to make the most of your time off:
Plan for your absence – Apart from scheduling flights and booking rooms, workers planning to travel this summer should be sure to coordinate with their employers and coworkers before the trip to make sure day-to-day responsibilities are taken care of. A little planning can go a long way in terms of helping you relax and not worry about the office while you’re away.
Cut the cord while on holiday – Ten percent of workers say they feel guilty that they’re not at work while on holiday, and 17 percent feel expected to check their email. Paid time off should be enjoyed. Work with your manager to set up an alternate means of contacting you in the case of a legitimate work emergency so that you don’t feel obligated to stay connected.
Schedule a decompression day – After an out of town holiday, the transition back to the office can be a bit abrupt. If you’re planning trip, consider spending a day at home before coming back to work to catch up on emails and prepare for the upcoming return in a lower pressure environment.
There were 1000 people aged 18-70 from the UK involved in the survey.