According to a recent survey by Lightspeed Research, 26 per cent of people in the UK keep in touch with work while on holiday.
This huge figure got me thinking about my own habits while I’m away, supposedly ‘relaxing’. With me, it depends on where I am taking my holiday and what I’m going to be doing when I’m there. I’m very fortunate to have friends who live and work in Dubai, therefore my girlfriend and I go to visit them at least once a year. During the day, they’re normally at work, so it’s quite common for me to pick up my phone and keep an eye on my emails. However, I try to be very selective about what I respond to as it can often snowball out of control, where I am immersed into my work culture in a very short space of time.
Last year we went to California to visit a few cities that had been on our list for a while, including San Francisco and San Diego. It was an action-packed activity holiday with lots of travelling and things to do, giving me very little time to let my mind wander. I’d taken my phone with me but throughout the entire two weeks, I managed to refrain from checking my emails once. I think the holiday was a much better experience because of it and really allowed me to have that clear separation between work and leisure.
Indeed, everybody’s work comes with different pressures and in some instances contact with work cannot be avoided, but if you’re like me and you tend to dip in and out every now and again, I can highly recommend making the conscious effort to leave the work phone at home. This way you can fully engage in a holiday or short break, leaving you to focus solely on enjoying the free time ahead.
Holidays are healthy
A Holiday Health Report, produced by Kuoni and Nuffield Health, proves the benefits that a good holiday or short break can bring. For their study, 12 people were given heart monitors; six went on holiday to Thailand, Peru or the Maldives, while the other six stayed at home. (Unlucky!) Two weeks after the holidaymakers returned, both groups had a health assessment and had their heart monitor results tested. The results showed that:
• The blood pressure of those on holiday dropped by 6 per cent while those that did not rose by 2 per cent. The benefits of lower blood pressure are reduced risk of heart attacks and strokes.
• The quality of sleep of those enjoying a holiday rose by 17 per cent. Studies prove the importance of sleep on physical and mental repair.
• The subject’s ability to recover from stress rose by 29 per cent among those who enjoyed a holiday. Ability to recover fell by an incredible 71 per cent in those who had not taken a holiday.
There are many motivations for taking some well-deserved time away from work with the ones we love, so it makes sense that we spend that quality time relaxing and making the very most of it. And besides, it’s good for your health – now that’s doctor’s orders!
Will you take the work phone with you on your next break to Center Parcs, or will you leave it at home?