British workers are risking burnout as they’re too worried to take time off work, according to new findings. Travel specialist Opodo is warning businesses that the UK is lagging behind other nations across Europe and the United States when it comes to flexible working hours.
One in five British workplaces allow for extended leave and sabbaticals, but 54% feel the pressure not to take any extended breaks as they fear it would make it difficult to return to work. A very wary 21% feel it could make them less employable, while a further one in 10 think it will harm their career prospects with their current employer.
Many other European nations are much more in favour of sabbaticals, stipulating that it helps with employment for potential roles in the future within companies across the globe, while British workers think that it will do more harm than good.
Almost two-thirds of people (61%) in Spain believe extended leave will help them in the future in terms of employability and more than half (60%) of the people in Germany said the same, while a further 49% of people working in France also believe sabbaticals can help with employment.
The research suggests that an extended break from work would actually be useful for many, despite Brits being least likely of all the nations surveyed to return refreshed from their summer holiday.
“It’s all too easy to become overwhelmed by the stress of working life, particularly now we are working longer hours until later in life,” said a spokesperson for Opodo. “Given to the advancements in modern technology, many now also have their work emails and calendar synced to their phone, meaning we’re no longer simply working 9-5 but are clocked on 24/7.”
According to the research, if Brits were to request extended leave from their employer, the major factor influencing their decision would be to remove themselves from work-related stress, with 43% wanting to take time off to recover their mental health.
“Taking a sabbatical can be a great release valve for this stress and offer the opportunity to do something you’ve always wanted – whether that’s going travelling, learning a new language or skill, or just taking some time off to focus on yourself.”