Managers struggling to switch off on their summer holidays

Technology is making it harder for employees to switch off on their summer break with one-third admitting they work while on annual leave, a poll has revealed.

A survey of almost 2,500 managers by the Institute of Leadership & Management (ILM) also found that four in 10 return to work feeling more stressed than when they left.

Of those who work while on leave, 80% frequently respond to emails, almost half take phone calls and one in 10 even goes into the office. Blackberries and smartphones are the main culprits for holiday work – more than two-thirds of respondents who own one admit to checking them at least once a day, if not more.

“Gone are the days when people cut off contact with work for a fortnight over the summer and made a complete break,” said Penny de Valk, ILM chief executive.

“While technology means that it is easier than ever to work remotely, it also makes it extremely hard to switch off. Uncertain economic times also mean that many UK employers are keeping one eye on their job at all times, when what they really need is time away from the office to rest and re-energise.”

The research also suggests that holidays are not really hitting the spot when it comes to relieving stress, with 40% feeling more anxious when returning to work than before they went. Overflowing inboxes were a key factor, with 90% saying they come back to a deluge of emails.

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