Head for a place in the sun - before you burn out1 !
One in five workers in Britain does not take the full holiday entitlement2, according to
recent research by TravelChoice. A survey published by the Chartered Institute of
Personnel & Development in March found that among managers and administrators, craft
workers3 and professionals4 working "long hours"- ie over 48hours a week - 20 % said
they took fewer than 10 days holiday in the last calendar year, and 22 % of self-confessed
workaholics said they took no days off at all.
The message coming through fromlong-hours workers appears to be that individuals
should have the right to choose to work them but that employers should intervene if the
hours become excessive. However, these same workers do notbelieve they have achieved
a good balance between work and home life.
"We see a lot of people who go on holiday with their laptops5. If you are able to get more
flexibility in your life by combiningholidays and work, it's all the better for you ; but if it
encroaches on your life, that's no good," says Mike Emmott, adviser on employee
He points out that if you are under stress for aparticular reason and people tell you to take
a holiday, it doesn't always work. The problem that is causing stress is still with you. At
the corporate level, a large component is the ego trip6 :the belief that you are so important
that the place cannot function without you. Middle and junior managers, who want to get
on in an increasingly competitive world, see devotion to the job as theonly way forward.
And those who feel insecure are caught in a culture of fear - "Will my job still be there
when I return from holiday ?"
A former computer consultant looks back to the days when shenever took holidays and
says firmly : "I was wrong. I could never see a cut-off point. I loved my work an enjoyed
it much more than lying on a beach or wandering around in museums. But I now...