With the increase in popularity of single week holidays and weekend breaks, there has been a notable shift in the travel industry. Holidaymakers are now favouring shorter duration holidays over the traditional two-week summer break. The surge in popularity for shorter breaks also supports the trend in the rise of British holidaymakers choosing the staycation option, a real benefit for local companies and boosting the UK tourism industry greatly. Looking for reasons behind these recent exciting travel trends and shifts, Lucy Cook, the Marketing Manager at UK based self-catering holiday letting agency Kett Country Cottages, explores the possible correlation between the modern working lifestyle affecting the choices we make when it comes to a holiday.

Since 1996, data from the Office for National Statistics has revealed a decline in holidaymakers choosing vacations that were two weeks in duration, with a 10 per cent rise in UK staycations (statistics from Visit England) in 2016’s first quarter compared to 2015’s first quarter. These insights into holiday trends over time are interesting in relation to the changes in employment habits that have occurred over a similar time period. In today’s “information age” as it is likely to be known, the spectacular rise in the use of the internet, portable computers and more significantly smartphones, means we are constantly available and connected no matter where we are.

From an employment perspective, this means we are also potentially in danger of not being able to disconnect from the workplace. Many of us are now taking our work home on a regular basis. To reduce the risk of work-related stress, whether it be on home soil or abroad, we are choosing to take more frequent holidays that are shorter in duration rather than one longer annual break. Employees feel this is a more efficient way to keep on top of workloads and break up the working year.

Whether it is a relaxing holiday in a charming Norfolk cottage or flying over for some sun in Spain, it is interesting to note that many employees still dip into emails and carry the work laptop with them thanks to accessibility Worldwide. This struggle to truly switch off may be because of workplace pressures or the lifestyle we now lead, but to perform efficiently at work, to be more productive and most importantly for health and wellbeing, studies have shown the value of employees being able to take a break from everything and recharge.

The Express newspaper publicised research by Croner House in September 2016 that demonstrated the benefits of employees taking their holidays, with 66 per cent of employees feeling more productive after a holiday and 67 per cent feeling a greater sense of job satisfaction. The research, however, also highlighted that 33 per cent of us do not use the allocated yearly holiday allowance in the UK, and this is despite the UK having one of the lowest holiday entitlements in Europe. Backing Croner House’s positive findings, HR services group Penna, encourage the necessity for employees to take their full holiday entitlement in the interest of avoiding burnout, approaching work like a marathon, not a sprint. Conserving energy is vital and it is logical that in not being able to relax and being exposed to long durations of stress will lead to a decrease in quality of work and productivity. Perfecting your work-life balance is the key in leading a healthier and happier lifestyle and enable employees to perform their best at work.

With over 200 properties located in Norfolk, Kett Country Cottages help visitors discover Norfolk in their own time.