The amount of work waiting on peoples’ desks post-holiday is leading to employees working while on leave


With such an emphasis on mental health and wellbeing in the workplace in 2015, it seems that even holidays are not helping to alleviate employee stress.

Research from the Institute of Leadership & Management (ILM) has shown that UK staff have a tendency to work through their vacations, with more than half (61%) feeling obliged to work on holiday.

The study showed that modern technology means that employees are contactable anytime and anywhere, with 64% of respondents saying they read and send emails during their time off, and 28% admitting they take business calls.

As well as working through holiday time, employees also feel stress before and after a vacation due to taking on a higher workload to accommodate their break.

Nearly three-quarters (73%) are stressed out by the prospect of their approaching holiday, while in 5 (18%) say they come back from their holiday more stressed than before – with 81% of employees faced with overflowing inboxes.

Despite annual leave being a statutory right, more than half (54%) of employees do not take their full entitlement by the end of the year.

Charles Elvin, chief executive of the Institute of Leadership & Management, said:

“Britain’s workforce is not making the most of their annual leave. Our survey paints a picture of an over-stressed workforce, who feel they cannot afford to switch off out of fear of falling behind on workloads.

“It is crucial that people are able to make the most of their time off work to fully relax, reflect and recharge. This allows them fresh perspective and energy to tackle their work on return from holiday.”

 “Finding work-life balance is easier said than done. But organisations can foster positive work environments by encouraging staff to use their full holiday allowance, hand over responsibilities to co-workers in the lead up to leave and have face to face meetings on their return.”

How can you support your workforce? Find out at Making Reward Personal, on Thursday 9th July. CLICK HERE for more information.