Britain’s workforce seems to be drowning under digital overload according to a new study by villa holidays firm, www.OliversTravels.com. It shows the vast majority of the UK’s workforce has a work life balance that is in essence, broken.
Oliver’s Travels polled over 1400 office workers from across the UK to ask a series of questions about their ability to switch off from work whilst on holiday. It seems the prospect of going on holiday and actually having a digital detox is something people are attempting to get right with 50 per cent of workers saying they actively try and switch off.
However, given 56 per cent of respondents admit to being addicted to checking social media or emails in general, it comes as no surprise that over 45 per cent of respondents admitted to checking work related communications on holiday with 20 per cent saying they check multiple times a day.
37 per cent of workers can’t even go a single day without logging on. 29 per cent said they could last at least 48 hours without checking but only 11 per cent said they could manage a whole holiday without getting sucked in.
Oliver Bell from OliversTravels.com said, “overuse of digital devices is increasingly being blamed for everything from burnout to sleeplessness as well as relationship problems, with many employees uncertain of when they should actually switch off. The rise in flexible working arrangements has created an apparent ‘always-on’ work culture. I think this study shows British workers need protections put in place like the French & Germans have already started doing to ensure workers are able to properly enjoy their time off and return to work fully refreshed.”
British workers seem to justify their daily checking of work communications on holiday with 25 per cent saying that up to 10 minutes and 19 per cent saying between 20 minutes and 1 hour is the optimal time to spend daily to get the right mix of ‘keeping on top of work’ with relaxation.
When asked whether employers should cut off workers access to work communications such as email, a massive 60 per cent of respondents said yes, but 25 per cent responded saying it would be impractical to do so.
Oliver added, “employees often feel they are judged on their commitment to their companies and their availability to work yet the workplace is changing as rapidly as technology, with more and more employees working remotely or with colleagues in other time zones. Some of the challenges that come with flexibility are managing those boundaries between work and life and being able to say no, I am not working now and I’m simply not available.”