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All employees deserve a holiday

ROODEPOORT — Fighting the urge to take a well-deserved break could harm your health in the long run.

A tough economic climate has left a majority of South Africans less than eager to splurge on holidays and getaways this festive season.

An online survey conducted by Pharma Dynamics in November, revealed 61 per cent of working men and women admitted they would be taking less time off during these holidays than they did last year – 49 per cent of those taking some time off work, reported that they wold still be responding to emails and work calls.

Spokesperson of Pharma Dynamics Mariska van Aswegen says, it is crucial to take time off work and believes companies should encourage their employees to take leave.

“With employees being retrenched, there are not a lot of people resources but the workload never stops increasing. As things stand, South African professionals spend an average of 9.5 hours of their day in the office, much more than their counterparts in the US and UK who respectively spend 8 hours in the office.”

Van Aswegen says the economic downturn has played a major role in the drop of people using their leave days. Generally, people just do not want to rock the boat and put themselves in the firing line of retrenchment. “People also believe that time out creates more work,” added van Aswegen.

Not taking a proper break from work is detrimental to a person’s mental and physical well-being.

According to the survey, 60 per cent of working people haven’t asked for more year-end leave because work simply demands too much of their time – 26 per cent felt that their leave allocation was just the bare minimum and therefore had to be selective about taking a break, while 14 per cent said their employers discouraged them from taking more time off.

Van Aswegen said that the surveys also raises several ethical questions on keeping employees in the office without the appropriate time off. “No one can run at full capacity all the time. Pressure builds up and often the tensions affect more than the individual. Family members and friends must endure the stresses that arise from work and from family life,” stresses Mariska.

More than 1 000 working South Africans were interviewed for the survey and 37 per cent said 30 days annual leave would make a significant difference.

If you are suffering from anxiety or compound stress, contact Pharma Dynamics: 0800 205 026

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