Stress and the Summer Holidays

It would be nice to think that everyone would find themselves less stressed as a result of their Summer Holidays. However, a recent study, conducted by the UK’s Institute of Leadership and Management (ILM), found that 40% of managers reported coming back from their holidays as stressed or more stressed than they were beforehand.

Part of this seems to stem from the increased connectivity which marks the modern age. The rise in use of Blackberries and iPhones, and the updating of social network sites such as Facebook, means that many people keep in touch with aspects of their working life, even when on holidays. For example, 80% of respondents in the study stated that they checked and responded to emails, while 66% said that they checked their smartphones at least once a day. Even those who did not check their mails found that they were unable to completely escape: Over 90% of managers reported being worried at some stage during the holidays  about returning to hundreds of e-mails, while 10% said that it took up to a week before they finally managed to unwind.

As Penny de Valk, from the ILM, states: Gone are the days when people cut off contact  for a fortnight over the summer and made a complete break. 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 employees 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.

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