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Busman’s Holiday for Managers


Britain is in danger of becoming a nation too afraid to put its feet up and go on holiday, according to a survey by the Chartered Management Institute.

More than 3,000 managers were questioned, and the Institute found that work overload has reduced the number of managers prepared to use their full holiday allowance each year.

Only half (53%) claimed to use their full entitlement, compared to 66% last year.

The survey found that many managers blame work commitments for their growing failure to take a proper break.

Most managers (76%) suggested that their professional responsibilities have affected their holiday, with many claiming to interrupt time off to attend to work duties.

Key causes of work interfering with holidays were identified as:
· In-tray influx: more than one-fifth are concerned about the work waiting for them.

· Project pressure: one-quarter claimed that the need to ensure project deadlines were met resulted in them working on holiday, with 4%
breaking from their annual leave to attend meetings.

· Difficulty delegating: 22% admitted that they find it hard to let
go of responsibilities and give work to colleagues.

· The 'novel' approach: 20% spend their holiday time catching up with urgent background reading to keep on top of work-related issues and 74% read newspapers to see what is happening at home.

· Employment enjoyment: love of the job was identified by 25% as a core factor in their choice to work on holiday.

Even when managers are not actually working on holiday, they increasingly try to keep in touch with their colleagues.

Over a quarter take a laptop or PDA away with them specifically to access work and 43% leave contact details with their employer (up from 29% in 2003).

Christine Hayhurst, director of professional affairs at the CMI blamed "a drive to succeed" for the long hours put in by UK managers.

"Managers should have a sense of realism about the quantity and quality of their work," she added.

"After all, it is possible to do a job well, without being at work for long hours."


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