8 in 10 North East Workers won't be able to switch off during their summer holidays

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With the summer holidays around the corner, wellness brand Naturecan reveals North East workers struggle to unplug from work, and many will suffer work-related anxiety this summer break.

In today’s hyper-connected world, the line between work and personal life is becoming increasingly blurred. More and more people struggle to leave work at work, carrying those worries with them long after their shift is over and extending to their days off or holidays.

In some countries like Portugal, there are already laws in place to guarantee the right to disconnect for employees. The UK, however, is lagging behind. Although Labour are calling for "the right to switch off" as part of their New Deal for Working People, a very timely topic with the upcoming elections, there’s still nothing set in place to safeguard UK workers' time off.

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To explore this issue, Naturecan conducted a survey of 1,250 employed UK adults via OnePoll to look into their ability to switch off from work and their working habits, identifying patterns based on age, and variations across regions.

Source: UnsplashSource: Unsplash
Source: Unsplash

Work worries follow North East workers on days off and holidays

Even during their days off, a whopping 80% think about work at least twice a day.

“We have become so accustomed to being contactable 24/7 that the boundaries have become blurred between our work life and our home life. This can make it hard for us to switch off, even when we are not meant to be working.” says Georgina Sturmer, Counsellor and MBACP.

Although holidays are meant to be relaxing and allow for unwinding, 44% still check work emails or messages at least once during a week-long holiday. Not being able to fully disconnect has a direct toll on their holidays perception as well, with 21% admitting that work-related anxiety has negatively affected what should be an enjoyable and stress-free time, and will do so again this year.

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But their time off is not the only one affected—30% admit their work habits have a negative impact on their relationships, and 13% has lost a relationship due to their inability to switch off from work

7 in 10 struggle to switch off after work

Many carry work-related worries and stress long after working hours. In fact, over 70% employed North East workers struggle to switch off after work on a regular basis. Not only do they find it difficult to clear their heads, but 41% also check their work emails and messages at least once a week out of working hours, and 16% do it every day.

Practices like setting an "end of work ritual" and setting boundaries with the employers before going away could improve the worker's mental health during their time off.

“To protect your holidays and prevent work-related stress from permeating this time of the year, you must first establish these boundaries before your holiday time begins. Notify your workmates and clients about your unavailability and assign someone else to take care of the urgent things in your place. Then, avoid bringing work-related material such as laptop when possible, and engage in activities that will enhance the happy hormones of your brain” advices Niloufar Esmaeilpour, MSc, RCC, SEP and founder at Lotus Therapy.

With summer holidays around the corner, it’s more important than ever to acknowledge the burnout problem that UK employed adults suffer, and to reflect on our own work habits.

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