You’re poolside on your precious summer holiday. The kids are splashing about and your other half’s buried in a good book.
So what are you doing? Are you reading too, or having a well-earned snooze?
Far from it. You’re checking your emails on your BlackBerry. Even a thousand miles from home, the ties that bind you to the office have stretched, but not broken. And half your mind isn’t actually on holiday at all.
I’ll be honest – I’ve done it. And it seems I’m not alone. Nearly half of the 16,000 people in 80+ countries surveyed by Regus admitted that they’ll be working up to three hours a day on their summer holiday. Another fifth will be putting in more hours than that each day. And just over a third admit they’ll be operating at just one notch below ‘business as usual’.
We shouldn’t be proud of ‘workcationing’. Being able to switch off fully is vital for our mental health. And as employers, we need to recognise that a burnt-out employee is no use to their family – or our business.
To keep our people healthy and happy, we need to think smarter about how they work all year round. We need to help them become more productive by bringing in the flexible working policies that will free up their commuting time and reduce their stress levels. And we need to lead by example.
So this year, I’ll be swapping my BlackBerry for a pineapple juice at the hotel bar.