The work/holiday balance

By | Category: Travel rumblings
holidays may, just may, get cheaper if APD is removed from under 12's

what is the work life balance

We are well into the summer holiday season but how many of us are still working whilst we are on holiday?

The family holiday people, Tots to Travel, claims that recent research by them says that almost 60% of us work while we are on holiday. The organisation thinks that this conflicts with the quality time that families should be enjoying on a holiday and says that 87% of people answering the poll wanted their partners to stop working during that holiday break concluding that this is “an indication of the stress that work is bringing into this precious time.”

The research says that 64% of those polled said that they checked their e-mails once a day (are these work ones, private ones or both?) and 65% worked more than three hours or more a week. I wouldn’t say that doing less than 30 minutes work per day constituted much of an infringement into holiday time nor that checking e-mails once a day was an issue. Usually partners and families want some time to themselves whilst on holiday and too much family contact can just lead to disagreements, arguments and bad feeling. Without knowing how and when the work and e-mail checking was done, how can you see it impinged on family time?

Only 11% of parents felt totally relaxed after their family holiday and a “worrying” 89% felt moderately relaxed to not relaxed at all says the company although I would defy most people to say that holidays were totally relaxing. If you have children, quite often you are working hard to keep the kids entertained so that they have a good time. Holidays can be exhausting. Which of us has never said that it’s good to be back home?

The founder of Tots To Travel, Wendy Shand, said: “With technology at our fingertips, work and holiday have become intertwined. If your family holiday is to be relaxing then there needs be a much clearer divide.” She suggests five ways to demark a holiday from work

  1. Consciously decide to give yourself a ‘work-free’ break, after all you will return fresher and more creative from a proper break.
  2. Communicate your intentions to your colleagues and to your family and make arrangements for others to cover for you; you can do the same for them in return.
  3. Set an auto-responder that clearly conveys that you will not be answering emails whilst on holiday and provide an alternative contact.
  4. In an emergency (and only in an emergency), suggest colleagues can text you.
  5. Keep the Wi-Fi switched off whilst on holiday and only switch on if you need to use your device to research your holiday – no sneaky peeks to check your emails!

Life has changed. No longer do we take holidays the way we did in the pre-internet and mobile phone age. Kids are just as likely to spend time on their smart phones. In some ways doing a little work whilst you are on holiday and during the time when the kids are using their electronic kit means that when you return to work there isn’t a huge backlog to catch up on. Which means you are more relaxed about returning to work. Isn’t this the balance but done as each person wants to do it?

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