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Is there an optimum time to diary training? Post holiday perhaps?

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On my recent holiday I was surprised to see an albeit small minority of holiday makers on laptops and obvious work calls on their mobile phones. So research which reveals that managers spend almost one day working out of a 10-day holiday wasn't exactly a shock – 85% of execs apparently check their emails whilst supposedly taking a break.

But it got me thinking about holidays and I wondered whether trainers found clients more receptive to new ideas and learning new skills in the post-holiday period. Are clients then refreshed and revived and raring to go? And is this therefore the best time to arrange a training course in consequence? In short, is there an optimum time to diary training?

I'd love to hear of trainers' experiences on this point, and also of any research that has been done on a post-holiday state of mind.

A survey of 271 English GPs with two million patients (which incidentally works out at a vast number of patients per GP) carried out for the English Tourism Council in 2000 found that:

* 90% thought that most types of holiday had some benefit to health and well-being, particularly those with an element of engagement(physical, social or intellectual)

* 89% believed that holidays can help alleviate depression, stress-related illness, alcohol and drug dependency and insomnia

* 59% believed that not taking holidays can negatively affect family health; 65% felt that it can have a negative effect on individual health.

Although we are better at taking time off than some other work-focused nations such as America and Japan, the UK is the poor man of Europe when it comes to taking holidays. Even the Pope extolled the virtue of taking a break, although he could be accused of taking coals to Newcastle as he was on holiday himself at the time, in the Italian Alps!

In these days of the hyperconnected I'm sure that it will become more common to see those who are supposedly on holiday actually working. If this is the case, what are the long-term consequences, to the nation's mental and physical health?

Wishing you all a laptop and Blackberry-free, happy summer holiday.

Susie Finch, Editor

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