Two-thirds of Brits (66%) disrupted by work demands out of hours

21st January, “Blue Monday”, is considered to be the most depressing day of the year. Employees reportedly feel sluggish after the Christmas period and pressured with their new goals and work demands. Whilst the Christmas break should provide some respite from the workplace, research by Teleware, a leading provider of communications technology, reveals that employees are finding it increasingly difficult to disconnect from the demands of work.

The Christmas break may not have been a time for all employees to switch off. Over half (53%) of UK employees have had a holiday interrupted by work, whilst two-thirds (66%) of Brits say work communications are eating into their evenings and weekends (61%).

The situation only increases with seniority. Eight in ten directors (80%) say they have had their holiday interrupted, whilst 86% have had their weekend interrupted. A further 92% have had their evening disrupted by work and a staggering 97% have had their lunch breaks interrupted. Indicating that directors can rarely get away from work demands and that lunchbreaks really are a thing of the past.

Workers in the capital are more likely to be interrupted ‘all the time’ by work than any other region, with a fifth (21%) always interrupted whilst on holiday.


Is technology to blame?

UK workers use mobile technology for almost a third (31%) of their working day, according to Teleware’s research. Having work related apps and emails on their personal device may enable flexible working, but it also exacerbates the ‘always on’ culture that technology has helped to create.

Steve Haworth, CEO at Teleware, comments: “Technology has significantly contributed to the explosion of information at our fingertips. We have more information and are more connected than ever before. However, Blue Monday serves as a reminder of the pitfalls of technology. For employees still regaining motivation following their Christmas break, having constant interruptions from work during their downtime is not helpful. Whilst technology is crucial for employees to be their most effective at work, it can also be a detractor when there is no escape.”

He continues, “Ironically, it’s technology that will solve the same predicament that it’s created. Recent years have seen a number of apps and software introduced to help employees work flexibly, whilst also allowing them to switch off and divert their work communications to colleagues on demand. Employees can that way divert business calls outside of work hours to ensure they aren’t distracted during their free time.”