The summer season is causing more than half of Brits to experience chronic workplace stress, or “burnout”, a new report claims.
The latest Wellbeing Index Report from Westfield Health, based on a survey of over 2,000 Brits, highlighted a sharp increase in worrying statistics, including the rise of “leavism”, with Brits working outside their contracted hours, and even on annual leave.
The research found one in 10 (11%) of employees respond to calls and emails from their boss while on holiday, and a third (36%) of Brits said their boss expects them to be on standby during annual leave.
Shockingly, almost a fifth (17%) of holiday time is spent worrying about work, the research found.
As a result, employees are experiencing a vicious cycle of stress and anxiety that is having a detrimental impact on their wellbeing in the run-up to, during and after they come back from their summer break, leaving them no time for vital recovery, the report claims.
Almost half (48%) of Brits agree they’re suffering, with those under 34 identified as the group most at risk and, worryingly, it shows no sign of slowing down.
Since the last Wellbeing Index Report in April, the amount of overtime taken has shot up 23%, and on average, workers have taken four days off for stress, anxiety or depression.
On top of this, over a third (37%) of HR professionals said their workplace doesn’t do enough to prepare for staff holidays and the inevitable decrease in staff in the office over the summer months.
For employees, increased workloads when colleagues are on holiday, combined with busy summer social schedules mean personal well-being is suffering.
Less than half (43%) of employees have spent quality time with family in the past three months, and a third (23%) described their mental health as “poor”, with the impact of balancing friendships, relationships and work taking its toll for 28%.
Based on NHS guidelines, one in five admitted they had not done anything in relation to their well-being in the last three months. Shockingly, only 36% had been physically active.
Employees said their biggest concerns over the last three months were money, lack of sleep, physical ill health, mental health.
On top of these worries, working parents have the added pressure of childcare and entertainment in the summer holidays.
Over a third of working parents are concerned about not having enough disposable income to keep their children entertained, with an overwhelming 70% experiencing stress before or during the summer break.