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One in three workers doesn't manage to switch off on holiday, report says

A woman checks her mobile while on a beach.
A woman checks her mobile while on a beach. / EFE
  • People blame their work disturbing them or having nobody to pass on urgent tasks to for their failure to relax; over six per cent say they never disconnect at all

Imagine being on an idyllic beach lying on a sunbed or admiring the beauty of the landscape on a holiday in the mountains and suddenly your work calls. Would you answer? Six in every ten people in Spain would, a recent survey has shown.

In fact one in three people admit that they don’t manage to disconnect completely during their summer break, according to the report from Randstad. As many as 6.4% say they don’t succeed in forgetting about work for a moment, while 28.4% do achieve a high degree of detachment, but not as much as they would like.

As well as those who answer calls or look at messages on WhatsApp on their phone, almost half of those surveyed (49.5%) say that they look at work emails while on holiday. Among those who admit to this habit, half do it once or twice a day and as many as 9.3% check them “continually”.

However the study also shows that the ability to put work to one side over the summer depends on age. Almost all those over 55 surveyed said that they could switch off. This figure drops to 60% in the 36 to 45 age group. But it’s the youngest who manage to switch off the least - half of under 25s say they can’t do it.

Difference between the sexes

There’s even a difference between the sexes. Some 72% of women are able to stop thinking about work, while only 58.6%of men manage it.

What are the reasons for people being unable to disconnect? According to the survey, 27.5%of workers say it’s their workplace contacting them, while 16% attribute it to the inability to delegate tasks as there is nobody else there to do them. Almost 6% claim that they can’t rely on a colleague to get it right.

Experts advise trying to finish all urgent tasks before we go away, and, if that isn’t possible, to fully brief a colleague who can take charge of them.