More than 60pc of workers check in with the office during the holidays
The urge to check in with work is understandable, but it is more important than ever to establish boundaries with the office. Image: Master1305/Shutterstock

More than 60pc of workers check in with the office during the holidays

20 Dec 2017

An infographic compiled by Egnyte shows the grim reality of our inability to pull ourselves away from the office. For the sake of your physical and mental wellbeing, it’s vital that you do.

As the end of the year approaches, you’re probably preparing to wrap things up, break for the holidays and get some well-deserved rest after a geopolitically exhausting 2017.

The people at Egnyte decided to probe the general assumption that nobody is working during the last week of December and made some discoveries that gave us pause, including the fact that 64pc of people taking time off will check in with the office.

Former Ticketmaster CEO Nathan Hubbard even put forward the suggestion that the holiday season is a good time to get an edge on your competitors, who are, like fools, actually taking a bit of a break.

The proliferation of the smartphone ushered in a new host of challenges to the ever-important work-life balance. Gone are the days where burning the midnight oil is the main signifier of overwork. These days, the office comes home with you in your pocket, and it’s easy to allow your working life to bleed into all other aspects of your existence.

We talk about – and, by extension, think about – work a lot here in the Careers section, unsurprisingly. Our heads are always spinning with everything from jobs announcements to emerging trends in HR to the importance of reskilling, so as to counteract potential automation-related jobs losses.

The thing is, we’re not going to be thinking about these things next week, and we very sternly implore you to do the same.

We’ve previously reported on overwork and the worrying normalisation of almost driving yourself to the limit of stress. It’s becoming a very sobering epidemic and is undoubtedly contributing to the more general mental health crisis being experienced in Ireland. Therefore, it is pretty vital that everyone finds a way to take some time to recharge in the coming weeks.

Of course, in certain cases, work over the holiday period is inextricably linked to one’s job. Egnyte’s figures indicate that the healthcare industry experiences a 44pc increase in productivity over the holiday period – this is understandable, given that emergency room visits spike during the holidays.

Education experiences a bump of 59pc in productivity, which can presumably be explained by the deluge of Christmas exams and assignments that need to be corrected and graded before educational institutions open up again in January.

The 26pc increase in productivity in the “business services” sector, however, can’t really be explained in this way. Be it through the will of industrious employees or demanding managers, clearly there are people taken in by Hubbard’s advice of trying to gain some kind of competitive edge.

Please don’t do this, all right? Look at this infographic and use it as a further confirmation that the holiday season should not be a time characterised by guilt or by compulsively reaching to check your work email. There are more important things.

Infographic: Egnyte

Eva Short
By Eva Short

Eva Short was a journalist at Silicon Republic, specialising in the areas of tech, data privacy, business, cybersecurity, AI, automation and future of work, among others.

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