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Office top summer holiday destination for Brits


School may be out this week, but more than one in ten Brits have chosen not to take a week of their annual leave this year because they are worried about whether or not they will still have a job to return to, according to new research from BT Business*.

Workers, fearful of losing touch with the office and poorly equipped with remote working tools will be spending an average of seven days holiday leave at their desks as the financial crisis continues to take hold. The findings reveal employees are giving up the equivalent of a quarter of their annual leave according to the government’s legal minimum holiday entitlement** putting an extra £800 million into the economy this year.

In addition to rising stress levels and poor health, one in ten parents are concerned that the extra hours will have a negative impact on their ability to look after their children well as many cancel summer breaks with the kids.

Bill Murphy, managing director, BT Business, said: “People sandwiched between the demands of the office and home are lacking the business tools to help them cope.

“We all need to take a break from work and recharge and this is a worrying situation. Companies that are adopting smarter working are seeing the positive impact on their staff motivation. Cancelling summer breaks will not only have a catastrophic effect on employee wellbeing but can also impact their productivity and therefore a company’s overall output.”

A culture of “presenteeism” whereby an employee works beyond the expected hours and juggling a heavy workload (one in five respondents) are equally the main drivers for staff selecting destination “the office”. The fear of not having a job to return to is also top of mind for on average of one in ten people.

Respondents are clear though on what bosses can do to help improve their working experience, more than a two-thirds of employees (66 per cent) stated that their working situation could be improved if they had right technology equipment to do their job and also if they were also given the option to work from home.

Murphy continued: “Employers need to look closely at the tools and practices they employ to ensure they are boosting staff morale in the current climate. Using technology to support practices such as remote or flexible working can help companies and staff become more efficient and ensure everyone is getting the time away from work they are entitled to.”

Inquiries about this news release should be made to the BT Group Newsroom on its 24-hour number: 020 7356 5369. From outside the UK dial + 44 20 7356 5369.

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Notes to Editors:

*The research was conducted for BT Business in June 2009 and surveyed 4000 people.

* * The legal minimum holiday entitlement you are entitled to is 5.6 weeks, for a calculation of leave allowance multiply the number of days you work a week by 5.6. For example 5 days x 5.6 weeks = 28 days.


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