Taking time off over the Christmas break could be the best way to set up hard-working Australians for success in 2012, according to an executive of leadership development organisation, The Executive Connection (TEC).
A quarter of locals work more than 50 hours a week and take only three-and-a-half of a possible 20 days paid annual leave each year.
TEC chair Jerry Kleeman said working too hard for too long can have serious health implications on both physical and mental health.
“Now with sophisticated technological advances we remain ‘switched on’ even long after leaving the office. Maintaining this never‐ending connection to work can lead to addiction, lack of sleep and even affect your demeanour,” said Kleeman.
He warned that the first thing to go when work becomes too demanding is health as employees skip gym sessions, consume more coffee to stay awake, or more alcohol to help them relax.
“The advice I give to CEOs and business leaders in my TEC group is to lead by example and take some much needed time away from the workplace. All managers should encourage their employees to take time off during the holiday season, and they should certainly heed their own advice,” said Kleeman.
The TEC chair identified the benefits of time out as reduced fatigue, improved mental health and physical wellbeing as well as recovering work/life balance and increasing awareness on returning to work.
“Plus, some of the most creative ideas come when you stop thinking about them. It’s the way us humans are wired—we need the opportunity to switch off, to come back firing on all four cylinders,” said Kleeman.