Headlines: July 19th, 2004

Work overload has reduced the number of central and local government sector managers prepared to use their full holiday allowance each year. Only half (55 per cent) claimed to use their full entitlement, compared to 66 per cent last year. The survey from the Chartered Management Institute also found that many managers blame work commitments for their growing failure to take a proper break.A key cause of work interfering with holidays was identified as in-tray influx with over one-quarter concerned about the work waiting for them on return from holiday. Some 46 per cent of managers expect to have to deal with more than 100 emails on their return after just one week away. 4 per cent will have more than 500 emails waiting for them.

When managers are not actually working on holiday, they increasingly try to keep in touch with their colleagues. 20 per cent take a laptop or PDA away with them specifically to access work and almost half leave contact details with their employer. This figure is up from 29 per cent in 2003. Almost one third of managers spend their holiday time catching up with urgent background reading to keep on top of work-related issues.

Most managers were prepared to delegate and only 10 per cent admitted that they find it hard to let go of responsibilities and give work to colleagues.