More than two in five (45%) employees admit to cancelling holiday because of work, with a quarter of respondents (24%) claiming they would rather forfeit the occasional day off than leave work undone or risk falling behind.
Other reasons cited included a lack of organisation – almost one in five (18%) said they are so busy they forget to book time off – and one in eight (12%) reported they planned their holidays poorly and as a result had too many days to take at the end of the year.
Lynn Cahillane, communications manager at reed.co.uk, said that encouraging employees to take the full allocation of holiday can have a positive impact on productivity.
“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,” she said. “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.”
The research also found that employees put in an average of 70.5 hours overtime each year.
“While having a team of hard-working individuals is great news for employers, businesses should always be cautious of becoming over-reliant on the heroic efforts of those members of staff who always go the extra mile and ensure they are taking adequate time off,” added Cahillane.