A recent survey reveals that over 75 percent of Brits find themselves entangled in work-related activities even while on holiday.

It found that one in eight respondents admitted to not taking their entitled annual leave at all, showcasing a worrying trend of overworking and neglecting time off.

Also, a quarter of Brits confessed to not adequately preparing for their annual leave, opting to deal with work matters upon their return, with 23 percent admitting to doing the bare minimum to prepare.

Surprisingly, almost a quarter of the survey participants admitted to not setting an Out of Office (OOO) message for their contacts, potentially blurring the lines between work and personal time.

The data also highlighted that 25 percent of Brits find themselves responding to work emails during their annual leave, with a majority (55%) justifying their actions by deeming certain emails as important.

Managers contact nearly 40% of employees on holiday

Moreover, a concerning aspect of the survey was the revelation that nearly 40 percent of respondents have experienced their managers or bosses attempting to contact them for work-related matters during their annual leave. Additionally, three in every 50 respondents reported having their annual leave cancelled or revoked without valid reasons.

In light of these findings, questions arise regarding the true extent of work-life balance in the UK, particularly concerning the encroachment of work into personal time and the lack of adherence to boundaries during annual leave.

The survey also delved into the annual leave habits of Brits, revealing that while almost half of the respondents utilise between 20 and 30 days of annual leave per year, a significant portion either underutilise their entitled leave or overindulge in it.

When it comes to reasons for taking annual leave, the majority (69%) cited holidays and getaways as the primary motivator, while 16 percent highlighted health and well-being concerns.

Overall, the survey paints a complex picture of the contemporary work landscape in the UK, emphasising the need for organisations to prioritise employee well-being and foster a healthier work-life balance culture. Failure to address these issues could have detrimental effects on productivity, morale, and employee retention in the long run.

For more detailed insights from the survey, the full blog and research findings can be accessed here.






Amelia Brand is the Editor for HRreview, and host of the HR in Review podcast series. With a Master’s degree in Legal and Political Theory, her particular interests within HR include employment law, DE&I, and wellbeing within the workplace. Prior to working with HRreview, Amelia was Sub-Editor of a magazine, and Editor of the Environmental Justice Project at University College London, writing and overseeing articles into UCL’s weekly newsletter. Her previous academic work has focused on philosophy, politics and law, with a special focus on how artificial intelligence will feature in the future.