Employees suffering from holiday guilt

18-07-2006

While employees look forward all year to the chance to relax on their summer holiday, many are finding that when they hit that sandy beach, they are unable to leave the office behind.

Research from a US university shows that the digital age, complete with mobile phones, email and voicemail, is making it harder for employees to resist checking their work email or phoning the office when they are away.

Employees have been suffering from Leisure Guilt for decades, according to researchers from Argosy University in Honolulu, and new technology means that it is even harder to switch off when they are on holiday.

"We often have a strong tendency to check in with the office, to see how things are going," said Dr Raymond Folen, associate professor of psychology at the university.

"Workers justify this as being conscientious, but in fact, it may be the result of fear and anxiety about job security."

In some cases, Leisure Guilt can be so severe that employees can avoid or intensely dislike holidays because they make them feel bad and worthless, added Dr Folen.

Holidays are important to allow body, mind and spirit to recuperate and if ignored, could lead to developing a stress-related condition.

Employees should avoid checking in with the office and should try asking a trusted friend to keep an eye on things when they are on holiday, advised Dr Folen, telling the friend to only contact them if something serious happens.



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