Why many of us will be working during our summer holidays

More than two-thirds of people working for small and medium-sized companies will spend some time working during their summer break, according to new research.

Four in 10 people who work for SME businesses say their boss expects them to work during the holidays with 67 per cent saying they will end up doing so.

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The poll by management firm Process Bliss revealed that 30.5 per cent would working either every day or several times a day.

Graphic by Kimberley Mogg

Forty-five per cent of SME employees say their clients expect to be able to contact them during their summer holiday and 41 per cent say their boss expects them to be available.

Alister Esam, chief executive officer at Process Bliss, said: "While working during the summer holidays might sound horrific to some people, working patterns and habits have changed and in 2019 people don’t all feel the need for a complete break."


"That said, many people still want and deserve a complete break from work and if they are working because they don’t trust others to get work done or that they believe things will be missed without them, then that is unacceptable and needs to be addressed."

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The main reasons given by employees for working during the holidays were:

they can't relax properly on holiday without knowing things are being done (36%);they feel they are being conscientious (28%);worrying that something important will be missed (24%);not trusting colleagues to keep everything in order (16%); andfeeling they are the only ones who can do their job (13%).

A further 25 per cent say it is a particularly busy time at their place of work, while it would also appear that not everyone is a fan of time with the family – ten per cent say working over summer holidays gives them a chance to sneak away from the family while seven per cent say they get bored.

Two thirds will check emails

Of those who will be working over the holidays, 67.5 per cent will check email and 34 per cent will call the office for updates.

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Twenty-eight per cent will have direct contact with customers or suppliers and 17 per cent will settle down to do report writing or other written work.

"No-one should ever be expected to work during holidays, or feel that the SME they work for cannot manage for a few weeks without them," added Alister.

"There’s also a clear difference between a few quick checks on email and spending every day of a holiday working.

"SMEs need to put in place better training programmes to ensure people can take a full break, or establish proper processes for tasks and roles so others in the organisation can follow those and ensure everything gets done as it should do."

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