For most employees, a holiday is something they can look forward to – a chance to break away from the realities of everyday life and spend some much-needed time relaxing. So, how come 44% of Brits didn’t use their full holiday allowance last year?

To help, tombola have surveyed the nation to uncover exactly what’s happening to Brits annual leave.

In 2018, 44% of Brits Failed to Use Their Full Annual Leave

With the classic 9-5 gradually shifting towards (unpaid but often expected) over time, and an increasing habit of working from our phones outside of the workplace – it’s no surprise that Brits are feeling overworked. However, instead of choosing a break – Brits are choosing the boardroom. tombola’s research has uncovered that almost half of Brits (44%) chose not to use their full holiday allowance last year. Of this, 23% of workers still had 5+ days remaining – meaning that almost a quarter of Brits worked a full week for free and missed out on a week’s holiday.

However, it’s not just taking time off that’s the problem – but also the length of the holiday. When taking annual leave, only a quarter (24%) of Brits took a break that lasted between 6 and 10 days in one go. In comparison, 20% of Brits took up to 3 days off in a single period.

50% of Brits Feel ‘Too Shamed’ To Take a Break from Work

But why is that Brits are no longer enjoying the privilege of a paid holiday? tombola’s research revealed the top 6 reasons why:

  1. Too busy at work – 38%
  2. Had nowhere to go – 23%
  3. Don’t need that much of holiday – 19%
  4. Enjoys work too much – 8%
  5. Boss doesn’t approve their holiday – 7%
  6. Colleagues would feel like they weren’t contributing – 5%

When you consider that UK employees are too busy at work (38%), their bosses not approving their holiday (7%) and peer pressure from colleagues (5%), it shows that 50% of Brits feel too ‘holiday shamed’ to take a from work.

44% of Brits Check Their Emails Whilst on Holiday

If that wasn’t bad enough, the research also found that working on holiday is becoming expected of breaks during their much-needed breaks. 1 in 3 Brits (33%) have been contacted by their workplace whilst away, and a further 44% of Brits admit that they have checked their emails whilst away.

It’s safe to say that the digital world has made our lives more connected in many ways. An “office” can now be anytime, anyplace as all you need is your mobile device and an Internet connection. Whilst this can bring numerous benefits, it’s becoming increasingly harder to ‘switch off’ which is essential for living longer.

Taking an Extended Break from Work Could Help You Live Longer

But why does it matter so much, you ask? Well, several studies have highlighted that taking a break can reduce stress. Better yet, the longer the holiday, the better result. In his 40 year-long study, Professor Tim Strandburg stated that “in our study, mean with shorter vacations worked more and slept less than those who took longer vacations. This stressful lifestyle may have overruled any benefit of the diet and lifestyle advice given.”

But this is bad news for employers, clients and employees – Harvard Economist, Juliet Schor revealed that “the pace of work has increased quite dramatically. We are working much faster today than we were in the past. And this contributes to our sense of being overworked and frenzied by our jobs.”

So, if you’re thinking that working overtime and not taking a break yields better results – you’re heading down the wrong path. It’s important to take time to relax and rejuvenate. So, isn’t it about time you booked yourself a holiday?




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