Work-free zone

Help your staff switch off this Christ­mas, writes Cara Jenkin

The Advertiser - Careers - - Executives -

MAN­AGERS need to look at how they can in­crease ef­fi­ciency and pro­duc­tiv­ity be­fore the sum­mer hol­i­day break to stop work­ers clock­ing on dur­ing their time off.

Re­search by busi­ness so­lu­tions provider Re­gus finds 46 per cent of pro­fes­sion­als sur­veyed will not prop­erly switch off dur­ing their hol­i­days, in­stead do­ing be­tween one and three hours of work each day.

Eleven per cent of those pro­fes­sion­als be­lieve they will work more than three hours each day. More than one-third, or 37 per cent, say they will at­tend to sig­nif­i­cant is­sues, take calls or an­swer emails dur­ing their break.

Re­gus Aus­tralia coun­try head Jac­que­line Lehmann says man­agers can pre­vent work­ers over­do­ing it in­stead of re­lax­ing on leave by tak­ing mea­sures early.

‘‘ Man­agers need to look at how they can in­crease ef­fi­ciency and pro­duc­tiv­ity for their work­ers in the run-up to the Christ­mas pe­riod to avoid as much as pos­si­ble the need for em­ploy­ees to work over the hol­i­days,’’ she says.

‘‘ For those es­sen­tial tasks that can’t be avoided, busi­nesses should do what­ever they can to re­duce the im­pact of that work on their valu­able hol­i­day time. By in­tro­duc­ing more flex­i­bil­ity and al­low­ing

pos­si­ble the need for em­ploy­ees to work over the hol­i­days

work­ers to ac­cess third-place work spa­ces closer to home dur­ing the hol­i­day pe­riod, busi­nesses can be­come more ef­fi­cient, leav­ing work­ers free to switch off on hol­i­day.’’

The sur­vey also finds 43 per cent of pro­fes­sion­als at small busi­nesses are likely to work dur­ing hol­i­days com­pared with 24 per cent in large or­gan­i­sa­tions.

‘‘ De­vel­op­ments in tech­nol­ogy mean that work­ers are al­ways con­nected and the temp­ta­tion to check emails over the hol­i­days and com­plete any tasks that fol­low on from them is easy to suc­cumb to,’’ Lehmann says.

‘‘ With smart­phones, tablets and ac­cess to web 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. This is par­tic­u­larly true in Aus­tralia where job stress has be­come the main rea­son for work ab­sence.’’

MAKE OR BREAK: Tak­ing leave and de­vot­ing time to rest, fam­ily and friends is vi­tal to re­main­ing healthy.

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