Work-life balance tips as half of Australian business people admit they will work during summer

Almost half of Australian business people say they’ll be working over the summer holidays, beating the declining global average, a new survey released by office services firm Regus has revealed.

The figures show businesses with fewer employees were more likely to sacrifice their holiday time. Business people at firms with up to 49 employees said they would give up one to three hours a day over the holidays, 49% of the time.

As the business got larger, the number shrank; 34% of business people made the claim from businesses with between 50-249 employees.

A separate survey by Servcorp has concluded that 40% of Australian business owners will give more than 10 hours a week of personal time during the summer holidays to keep the business running.

More Australian businesspeople of both sexes said they would work longer over the holidays than the global average, according to the Regus survey of 26,000 people in 96 states.

It said 38% of businesswomen said they would work one to three hours a day over the break, with the global average at 35%, and 15% would work longer than three hours, with the global average at 16%. 

Of businessmen, 46% said they would work one to three hours a day, the global average was 44%, and 14% said they would work more than three hours, while 18% across the globe agreed.

The combined statistics show 44% of Australian business people would put in one to three hours a day and 14% would put in longer hours, with the global averages at 41% and 17% respectively.

In 2012, 46% of Australians said they would work one to three hours a day over their breaks, two points shy of the global 2012 average of 48%.

Chief executive at The Physio Co, Tristan White, told SmartCompany businesspeople need down time to perform well when work is on.

He suggested to be clear with staff and clients about when you are available, and when you don’t want to be disturbed.

“I’m certainly not going to be checking emails all the time,” he said. “If there’s an emergency, make sure it’s communicated via the phone.”

Another pitfall of working during the holidays is that important contacts could be off as well, so productivity expectations would be lower.

“The expectations of [staff] getting a huge amount done are low for that very reason, that other people are on leave,” he said.

He said to make things more relaxed for those that are working over summer, his office support staff would have two weeks in casual clothes starting Thursday.


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