By Chris Clarkson, Managing Director, www.sunshine.co.uk

Planning a holiday, excitement ahead of a trip and time spent reminiscing about the break once home is taking up a lot of British workers’ time and costing employers hundreds of pounds, according to new research by an online travel agency in the UK. Having a member of staff plan and attend a holiday costs a typical employer an average sum of £478 per employee, due to time spent on holiday-related activity when they should be working.

www.sunshine.co.uk conducted the research as part of an ongoing study into the impact that holidays have on the lives of Britons’. 1,885 adults from around the UK took part in the poll, each of whom was in full time employment (and had been so for at least one year) and had been on a holiday abroad in the last 12 months. Respondents were asked about their behaviour in the workplace leading up to and after their last holiday.

When asked, ‘How much time, approximately, did you spend thinking, daydreaming, planning, researching and/or booking your holiday abroad whilst in the workplace before your last trip?’ the average answers stated by those taking part accumulated to ‘32 hours’ in total. Respondents were only asked to take the hours into account when they should have been working, as opposed to designated breaks.

All respondents were then asked ‘How much time, approximately, did you spend reminiscing about your holiday at work once you returned from your last trip and/or looking through photos and talking to colleagues about the holiday?’ The average answer given by respondents was ‘6 hours’. Again, respondents were only asked to take the hours into account when they should have been working rather than their breaks. These results mean that ‘holiday fever’ makes the average employee in Britain lack productivity for a total of 38 hours around the time of a holiday.

According to the poll, the average Briton’s salary when broken down to find an hourly rate was £12.60 per hour. This would mean that the average employer loses £478.80 per employee due to the hours they waste on holiday related discussions or planning activity in the run up to the holiday and the period in which they return to work.

When asked if their productivity at work before and after a holiday was affected as a direct result of the trip they were about to or had already taken, 89% of the people taking part admitted they were ‘much less productive’ at work just before and straight after a holiday.

As soon as you book a holiday, it’s easy to get caught up in all the excitement and for the trip to be on your mind 24/7. Researching activities that you can do once you’ve arrived at your destination, showing your friends, colleagues and every unfortunate passer-by pictures of the lovely hotel you’ll be staying in and bragging about the trip you’ve planned can be quite time-consuming!

People should be warned though that they’re best off tying up loose ends at work and getting everything in place for their time away, or risk having to deal with a lot of stress once they’re back. Employers are clearly losing out due to staff members whose productivity levels plummet before and just after a holiday, so perhaps they need to keep a closer eye on those who will be jetting off abroad in the coming weeks to check they’re doing what they’re paid for and not gossiping about the scuba diving excursion they’ve planned!”

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