Work-life balance can be a constant struggle. We live in an age where we are always connected 24/7. Work emails can be accessed on-the-go, deadlines can be met from the office as well as at home. It’s great to be able to have the flexibility of working remotely, but it does also mean that we are then finding it harder to be able to just switch off from work.
A recent survey commissioned by Opodo found that just 30% of British workers feel they have a good work/life balance and we are the least likely to consider taking a career break and risk burn-out.
The research found that:
- Over 50% of Brits believed it would be hard to return to work after a sabbatical
- 1 in 5 felt it would make them less employable
- 1 in 10 felt it would harm their career prospects with their employers
- Over a third said their company offers no flexible working benefits
Interestingly, I looked up my work policies and although we are able to submit requests for flexible working (of which I already do) currently, there is no sabbatical option available.
Other than mat leave where I took a year off work to look after my boys, I’d never considered taking a career break before.
The idea of being able to have the time to pursue other interests, spend some time travelling and most importantly, remove work-related stress is really appealing. Not only that, just being able to recharge those batteries must do wonders for our health too. Many decide to take a sabbatical to really focus on themselves. Some decide to learn a new language or skill – things their day job would not normally allow.
According to the Opodo research, over 50% of those surveyed said that their main reason for taking a sabbatical was to improve their mental and psychical health. It’s not all that surprising if you think about it. We seem to have this “live to work” culture over here where work seems to be top of the top priorities when this shouldn’t really be the case. Interestingly, UK employers are one of the most generous with holiday allowance but couldn’t offer any flexible working options.
From the employer’s point of view, the study shows that employees come back feeling refreshed and more focused – ready to take on their role head-on. People who are happy tend to work harder.
Have you ever thought about taking a career break? If so, what would you do with your time?
*Opodo asked me for my opinion on the research and this post is in collaboration with them
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