So, the summer holidays are over. Everyone is relaxed and bronzed and ready to resume with the daily grind. Or, perhaps not…
Research by Bupa, which has combined the views of 2,000 UK workers, shows that 44% of respondents face a ‘dramatic’ workload increase during the summer, mainly due to the sheer number of people who go away at the same time in UK companies.
So, how about those who did manage to enjoy a summer break instead of picking up other people’s work? Well, it’s not all roses for them either. According to the research, two in five people (41%) who went on holiday had to put in extra hours in preparation before their departure, and two thirds (61%) were dreading the return to reality as the holidays came to an end. And, unfortunately, many of those who did take a break didn’t feel like they could fully switch off during their holidays. Even when they were away, nearly one in three (32%) worried about being called or emailed and being expected to respond. More than half (55%) returned to find a ‘huge’ backlog of work and hundreds of emails waiting (54%).
Clearly the solution isn’t to put an end to holiday entitlement altogether – we all need a break. But all employers have a legal responsibility to look after the physical and mental health and wellbeing of their staff and, as such, they have a duty to take staff issues seriously and do what they can to reduce the pressure their staff are under. If you need advice on doing this, why not take a look at the guide on stress in the workplace on the Health for Work Adviceline knowledge base? Or, for information on general work health issues, take a look at our blog or website.