Most UK employees work over six unpaid hours a week

Almost a quarter of workers on holiday regularly checked their emails.

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Continuing to work over their holiday means that workers don’t get a chance to fully recover from the stresses of office life.

66% of UK employees work an average of 6.3 hours per week without pay with around 22% admitting to working more than 10 unpaid hours over five days according to a new report by ADP.  

The proliferation of digital devices means that we’re constantly connected to the office wherever we might be, making it difficult to switch off from work and increase stress levels even more than it should. Last year, the Office of National Statistics released figures that revealed three million UK employees work more than 48 hours a week, a rise of a quarter of a million since 2001.

Whether it’s a two-week holiday or a twenty-minute respite at lunch, Lucinda Pullinger, Global Head of HR at Instant Offices explains why it is important for workers to take steps on how to live healthily by disconnecting from all work-related screens and increase productivity and overall happiness.

The proliferation of digital devices means that we’re constantly connected to the office wherever we might be, making it difficult to switch off from work and increase stress levels even more than it should.

The importance of a well-rested employee

Although it may seem like a good thing from a productivity point of view, having employees constantly working can do your business more harm than good.

In fact, a study by Glassdoor has shown the average number of UK employees taking their full annual leave is 62% with only 43% made use of 91-100% of their holiday entitlement. What’s more 13% reported only taking 20% of their allowance.

Further research found 23% of those on holiday regularly checked their emails and 15% admitted to doing some work out of fear of being behind on their return and missing targets. 20% of employees surveyed also reported that they were expected to be reachable and available to carry out some work if needed.

Continuing to work over their holiday means that workers don’t get a chance to fully recover from the stresses of office life, and in the end, productivity and creativity can suffer when drained employees come back to work.

This is, of course, not even taking into account the health benefits of a holiday – stress and exhaustion take an incredible toll on the body, and overworked employees may end up taking more sick leave throughout the year. Finally, allowing employees time off to relax can result in an all-around boost for office morale.

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