That holiday feeling

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BACK in the day, as they would say in America, when I was young, full of enthusiasm and embarking on the career path to nowhere I always used to feel that the day before you went on holiday would be the best day to be coming back to work after, if you see what I mean.

The desk was cleared, actions completed, dismissed, or delegated and all that lay ahead was a couple of week of nothing. What a great time to be at work eh! Instead I used to potter off on my hols, knowing full well that when I returned it would be to an overflowing desk, an in tray that was groaning under the weight of memos (yep we used to send typed memos!), and a queue a mile along of colleagues wanting to bend my ear.

How was it possible to enjoy a holiday knowing that was what awaited your return?

Seems that things haven’t changed much in the intervening decades. Recent research has shown that the health benefits we get from relaxing on holiday and spending time with family wear off within two days of getting back to normality.

“Factors like health, mood and energy levels will improve while on holiday but as soon as we return the benefits are lost in a sea of worry.”

Based on stress tests conducted on people returning from their holidays it seems that:

  • Most people feel more stressed than before they left.
  • Many are also left depressed about the length of time until their next break.

On the plus side studies also show that people who decide against taking a summer break are more likely to die younger than those who take time out.

This last fact is somewhat worrying when you consider that:

“A third of expats feel ‘obligated’ to their work and are not using up their full annual leave quota” according to a worldwide survey. Only two thirds of Brits working abroad use all the holidays they are given by their organisation and that (not surprisingly) French employees were the most likely to take advantage of the days granted, with 89 per cent using up all of their days, the survey found.

In what is an intriguing insight into the work ethos and attitudes of today, slightly more younger people would take all their leave than people aged over 50, but there was a difference the greater the seniority or investment in the company, as business owners, senior executives and decision leaders at 60 per cent are the least likely to use up all of their holiday entitlement.

Workers most likely to use all leave: France 89 (%), Argentina 80, Hungary 78, Britain 77, Spain 77, Saudi Arabia 76, Germany 75, Belgium 74, Turkey 74, Indonesia 70, Mexico 67, Russia 67, Italy 66, Poland 66, China 65, Sweden 63, Brazil 59, India 59, Canada 58, United States 57, South Korea 53, Australia 47, South Africa 47, Japan 33.

Whatever happened to the ‘Work Hard, Play Hard’ attitude I wonder?

I suspect it is locked away in the same box (or is that ‘outside the box’) as the Liquid Lunch, Office Party and a few pints with the lads…

Reflections From A Balcony In Spain: By Chris Marshall


 

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