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Thursday, 9 August, 2001, 13:32 GMT 14:32 UK
Bosses failing to make the break
30% of managers think about work for more than a quarter of their holiday
Can bosses avoid thinking about work?
The peace and relaxation of British bosses' summer break is increasingly being disrupted by the ring of a mobile phone signalling another crisis back at the office.

According to a survey of British managers by the Institute of Management, three-quarters remain in contact with work when on a break - either through mobiles or via the internet.

The survey found nearly 8 out of 10 managers managed to take the bulk of their holiday entitlement, and unsurprisingly most reckoned their break helped them recharge their batteries.

But 1 in 10 managers failed to take more than half of their annual leave, and those who do get away are increasingly returning to an e-mail nightmare.


While topping up their tans on the beach, 75% of managers say they remain contactable by the office, which is up from 66% last year.

63% of managers keep in touch with work via their mobiles
'Go Away! I'm on holiday!'
Nearly two-thirds have their mobiles with them, while one on ten carry a laptop and use e-mail.

Even when they are not talking to the office, three out of ten said they were thinking about work more than a quarter of the time spent on holiday.

Inbox full

Even if managers manage to cut all ties with work when on holiday, returning to a bulging e-mail in-box is an increasing problem.

Nearly half will have at least 40 e-mails waiting for them, while just under a third expect to have to deal with more than 75.

10% of managers stay in contact using portable computers
'Memo to Self: must leave laptop at home next time...'
Most managers have to deal with these e-mails themselves, rather than relying on colleagues to sort them out while they are away.

Christine Hayhurst, director of public affairs at the Institute of Management says that although managers are mostly getting the rest they need on their breaks, they need to learn how trust their colleagues if they are to get the most out of their holiday.

"The benefits of their hard-earned breaks will soon fade with their tans if they are unable to delegate to colleagues while they're away recharging their batteries," she said.

Time for a change?

As well as providing a much needed break, managers say their holiday often provides them with a chance to rethink their approach to their job.

Nearly half say it makes them rethink their working lifestyle, and one in ten even go so far as to change their job when they return.

There was some good news for the UK's beleaguered tourist industry, with the news that our managers are a patriotic lot.

The UK is voted the top holiday destination, and the ideal getaway is described as being a visit to an historical or cultural site - although this is closely followed by a trip to the beach.

See also:

20 Jul 01 | Business
Holiday rip-offs 'on the rise'
26 Jun 01 | Business
Holiday pay for temps
02 Jan 01 | Business
Call for extra bank holiday
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