Nearly a third of workers will take phone calls and attend to tasks that they consider tantamount to “business as usual”, according to new research conducted by workspace provider Regus among 5,000 UK professionals.
In terms of time spent working on holiday, more than a third of holidaying workers will put in between one and three hours every day for their job, and one in ten expect to spend over three hours a day working.
“Working on holiday is usually portrayed in negative terms, as a symptom of our ‘always-on’ culture and the pressure facing staff in the economic downturn,” comments Steve Purdy, UK managing director at Regus.
“Certainly it can be a sign that workers are overstretched, stressed and insecure in their jobs. But workstations are becoming part of life for the growing numbers of entrepreneurs who simply cannot switch off and may not want to.”
Purdy adds that modern technology has freed business owners from the office, enabling them to holiday with their family without abandoning their business for weeks at a time.
“It is better to work some of the time than not to take holiday at all. The key is to impose rigid rules, such as limiting work to certain hours in the morning, so that work is productive and doesn’t encroach on family time,” Purdy explains.
Generally, the research results show that men are more prone to taking “workations” than women, with 31 per cent of professional men taking their usual workload on holiday, and 25 per cent of women.
“Being able to connect from any location is great,” says Professor Thomas Cox, chair of occupational health psychology and management at Birkbeck University of London. “But workers really need to carve out time to switch off, too.”
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