Who’s sneaking off behind the villa for a secret session with the BlackBerry? Over half of Middle Eastern workers (57%) will not be relaxing properly this summer holiday, but trying to fit in up to three hours work each day instead of relaxing by the pool or spending time with their families and friends. Amongst these persistent professionals who just can’t switch off, are a hard-core minority of serious workaholics. 24% will work over three hours each day on holiday, neglecting loved ones to feed their work addiction. These are some of the worrying results of the latest Regus survey canvassing over 16,000 respondents in more than 80 countries.
Not only are Middle Eastern workers taking too much work on holiday, but far too many will be glued to their SmartPhones and netbooks with 50% declaring that they will still be operating on a slightly reduced ‘business as usual’ from the sunbed. So instead of enjoying some free time with their nearest and dearest, they will try to juggle all the stress of work alongside disgruntled partners and disappointed children.
Taking time off from work is not only essential to strengthen bonds and relax, but it can also make the difference between a healthy or a burnt-out frazzled worker. With reports showing that a stressed mind is the perfect breeding ground for more unhealthy anxiety, it’s important that professionals let their hair down once in a while and truly break off from the office.
Joanne Bushell, VP for Middle East and Africa, Regus comments: “Developments in technology mean that workers are always connected and the temptation to check emails and complete any tasks that follow on from them is easy to succumb to. With smartphones, netbooks and internet connections everywhere it has become very difficult to really switch off, but taking a break and devoting time to rest, family and friends is vital to remain healthy.
“Burning the midnight oil in a usually unsuccessful attempt to work and take an active part in the family holiday can only bring workers ones step closer to burnout and spoils the fun for everyone. Businesses need to urgently look at ways of increasing efficiency and productivity to save their staff from carrying work over into their personal time if they want to ensure that staff remains happy, healthy and productive. By introducing more flexibility and allowing workers to reduce commute time and work closer to home, businesses can become more efficient leaving workers free to really switch off when they are on holiday.”
Before joining SME Advisor, I worked as a producer/reporter for Forbes Media in New York. I obtained a Bachelor’s degree in Journalism and International Studies at the University of South Florida in the US. I am currently in Dubai working as Sub-Editor for SME Advisor Middle East, which is a business magazine published by CPI. You can follow me on Twitter: @joumanasaad or @SMEadvisorME and (Joumana Saad) or (SME Advisor) on LinkedIn.