Employees’ time off increasingly squeezed by their job duties

Work pressures mean over half of managers plan to work on holiday

Flexible working may be perceived as more advantageous to employees than employers, but there’s new evidence that it encourages presenteeism rather than promoting a better work/life balance. The Glassdoor UK Annual Leave Survey has discovered that 44 per cent of employees undertake some work while on holiday; 18 per cent report that a colleague and 13 per cent their boss, have contacted them about work related matters while on leave. And that’s just those who take their allocated holiday time. The average UK employee uses just 77 per cent of his or her annual leave, and only half (50%) of UK employees take their full annual leave. Given that the average annual leave in the UK is approximately 28 days per year, this means that employees could be losing 6.5 days every 12 months.

Unsurprisingly given the circumstances, the survey also uncovered evidence that people use their annual leave to look for another job, with 9 per cent of employees that took time off saying that they had used holiday days to interview for a new job.

This rises to almost one in five (15%) for employees in London. while. Employees in Wales used the most annual leave (86%) and those in Scotland the least (66%).

Almost one in five employees who took annual leave in the past year (19%) said that they had a difficult time not thinking about work while they were off. This is highest among employees in London (27%). When it comes to age differences, employees 25-34 years old find it most difficult not thinking about work while on leave (25%) compared to employees in other age groups.

The survey also explored why employees might do some work while they were on leave. 11 per cent of employees said that they feared getting behind on their work, 10 per cent said that they wanted a pay rise, 6 per cent said that they fear not meeting their goals and 6 per cent said that they fear losing their job.

To download the survey which was conducted online by Harris Poll on behalf of Glassdoor among more than 2,000 employees within Great Britain click here.