More than half of workers in the UK are not taking their full holiday allowance, according to research by Reed.
54% of employees are leaving an average of three days of holiday a year unused.
Nearly half of the respondents (45%) said that they had previously cancelled a holiday for work reasons, whilst 24% said that they would forfeit holiday rather than leave work unfinished or risk falling behind. Employees also said that they will cram in an average of four additional hours of work in the week before they do take holiday.
The study also found that the average worker will put in 70.5 hours of unpaid overtime each year.
Whilst diligence is the main reason that employees are working through their holidays, there are other less noble reasons as well. Almost on in five (18%) say that they forget to book the time off, whilst 12% admit to planning their time poorly and having too many days left to take at the end of the year.
When on holiday just under a third of employees (31%) like to switch off completely; however 48% check their emails or complete work.
Despite these findings, nine out of ten respondents stated that taking a break from the workplace increased their productivity when they return.
Lynn Cahillane, Communications Manager at reed.co.uk, said: “Our latest research is yet more evidence of how hard Britain works. The extent to which people are prepared to put in overtime or even cancel holiday to get the job done, is a positive reflection of our attitude to work and testament to how much we value our jobs.”
“However, everyone needs to recharge so we would encourage everyone to try and take their full allocation of annual leave. Time off restores your energy and focus allowing you to be more productive and creative on your return to work.”
Recent research has attributed presenteeism to reduced levels of employee sickness, and this study would appear to highlight the same ethos.
The other argument is that the average UK employee values their work, and wants to see it done well.