All work and no play makes for unhappy Irish workers

Survey finds that many workers don’t take all their vacation time and that most take work with them on holiday

More than 20 per cent of Irish workers aren’t taking their full complement of holidays and even when they do go on break, the majority of workers take work with them, according to a new survey.

More than half of workers who don't take all their holiday time say they don’t because it isn’t the “done thing” at their organizations or because they’re too busy. Nine per cent of all respondents to the survey by online job board said taking their full complement of vacation would affect their promotional prospects.

"We hear so much about the impact of stress on workers lives and yet some workers don’t take their full holiday entitlement," said Sinead Johnson of

"All the scientific and medical evidence tells us that workers who do take their full leave entitlement are more creative, attentive and successful in the workplace and this is what employers want. As they say, 'all work and no play leads to a very dull life'."

The survey of 800 workers was carried out to assess workers' attitudes to holiday entitlements and their working environment.

The overwhelming majority of workers who do take vacation bring work along with them. Eight-four per cent of respondents said they brought their laptops with them on holiday last year and about the same number brought along work-related reading materials.

About a quarter of workers said they call in to work while on vacation or worry about what has gone wrong while they are away. Another 43 per cent said they give their employers a contact phone number while on vacation and 31 per cent said they take work-related calls from their boss or colleagues.

There are some signs of improvement, however, with only 44 per cent of respondents saying that they plan to bring their cell phones with them on vacation this year, down from 90 per cent last year.

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