The latest research from reveals it takes an average of four days, eight hours and 24 minutes to fully unwind when taking a holiday.  So whilst many workers might think a long weekend is just what is needed to recuperate, it seems this won’t be enough to recover from the stresses of working life.

The research reveals that it takes two fifths (40 per cent) of respondents need at least four days to fully relax when on leave; with over a quarter (28 per cent) saying they need at least five days.  For a lucky few (18 per cent) it takes just one day to switch into ‘holiday mode’.

Worryingly, more than one in ten (12 per cent) admit they can never completely relax and switch off from the job, suggesting the ubiquity of smartphones and laptops is keeping many in touch with the office even while they’re away.

Michael Gentle, Head of Consumer Marketing at, says: “The fact that it is taking so long for workers to unwind when on holiday is indicative of the ‘always switched on’ culture we now live in.  In the past we used to be able to go on holiday and disappear from the ‘working world’.  Now most of us go away armed with our mobiles and tablets, and don’t think anything of checking our work emails from our Mediterranean villa.

“Whilst the British work ethic should be applauded, holidays provide an important opportunity to refresh and recharge the batteries, ready for the challenges ahead.  By not relaxing fully, workers are putting themselves at risk of burn out, which will be detrimental to them and their employer in the long run. So remember to switch off, enjoy the break and leave work to your capable colleagues back home.” has some tips to help you make the most of your time off:

  • Tie up any loose ends.  Make sure you complete as much as possible before leaving.  Work that can’t be completed should be handed over to colleagues in the days or weeks before to save any last minute panic.
  • Consider packing fewer devices.  Take a phone that you can use in case of an emergency, but resist the temptation to pack every electronic device you own.  If it’s not a necessity, don’t take it.
  • Think old school entertainment.  It’s amazing how relaxing a deck of playing cards or old fashioned board game can be.
  • Strike a balance.  You might end up making yourself even more stressed if you force yourself to ignore your phone completely.  Instead, allow yourself to check it only once a day and stick to it.
  • Don’t schedule every minute of the holiday.  We’re so used to planning, scheduling and meeting deadlines, it can be easy to feel like each day of your holiday needs to be crammed full of activity.  Instead, try and have some days where you simply lie by the pool, go to the beach or read a good book