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All work and no play

By Hannah Nicholas
Friday, January 11, 2008
Image: Getty Images
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Despite being on holiday, a lot of Australians still feel pressured to take the job with them.

A poll conducted by online employment website SEEK has found that an alarming 85 percent of Australians who took leave over the 2007/08 Christmas/New Year period were accessible to work.

The results, based on close to 1000 responses, revealed that three out of four Australian workers (76 percent) took holidays over Christmas. Of these, 63 percent were available for work calls on their mobile phone, 13 percent checked e-mails, and an unfortunate nine percent used their laptop to work remotely. Only 15 percent of people enjoyed a complete break while on holiday.

According to SEEK human resources director, Meahan Callaghan, this trend is not sustainable and it shouldn't be left to employees to argue that their time on holidays is their own.

"SEEK's recent Satisfaction and Motivation survey revealed that stress is the most hated aspect of the job for Australian employees. Employers need to take this on board and start tackling this issue from a policy perspective," said Callaghan.

Technology leading to more stress
"Technology like mobile phones and laptops is great, but it was supposed to allow people to work flexibly, rather than take over their personal lives. We know that employees who are engaged and happy are those who have struck a balance between being productive and appreciated at work and enjoying a life outside as well," she said.

"Some employees are also their own worst enemy. This makes it doubly important that organisations have clear policies in place that ensure staff take regular holidays throughout the year and are provided the support that allows them to literally switch off."


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