Stressed-out workers are too busy to take all their holidays

Nearly
a third of men and one in six women are too busy at work to take all their
holiday entitlement, while anxiety is becoming an increasingly serious problem
in the workplace, two separate studies have concluded.

The
research paints a grim picture of office life, with stress and long hours
leading to burn-out and health problems.

A
survey into the provision and take-up of holiday entitlement by youatwork, a
division of insurer Royal & SunAlliance, found missed holidays meant that
nearly £4bn worth of work goes unpaid across the country each year.

This
amounted to a three-month paid sabbatical for every worker over their working
life, or one-and-a-half days’ holiday per year for each employee.

People
in their 40s led the most hectic lifestyles, with 26 per cent claiming they
were too busy to take all their holiday. Among those in their 30s, 21 per cent
missed out on between two and five days last year. Workers in East Anglia lost
an average of two days, compared with 1.2 days in the North West. A quarter of
Londoners were too busy to take all their holiday, compared to one in six in
the East Midlands.

Overall,
nearly three in 10 said they would prefer to trade in some of their holiday
time for other benefits, such as a car allowance or gym membership.

Gerry
Callaghan, managing director of youatwork, said: “The consequences of working
in a high-pressure environment without taking a holiday to unwind are
potentially damaging to both staff and businesses.”

In
an unconnected study, training specialist Parity Research found anxiety was
becoming an increasingly serious problem, with two-thirds of workers taking
office traumas home with them.

Its
study of 300 employees found that 60 per cent looked stressed, tired and
overworked to people outside their workplace

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