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It’s common to hear professionals being stressed about job security, meeting deadlines and performing up to expectations – but did you know they also have to deal with FOTAL – fear of taking annual leave?
That is, according to National Relaxation Survey conducted by Galaxy Research, which surveyed 1250 Australians, which highlighted staff didn’t use all their leave because the build-up of work from being away created too much stress.
More than two-thirds of respondents (78%) said they felt guilty about taking a break while 67% said they did at least a little work on their holiday.
This fear echoed even among the younger generations, with 62% Gen Y and 64% Gen X workers saying work commitments have prevented them from taking their full annual leave.
These percentages were both higher than the number of Baby Boomers who stated the same (46%).
A quarter of workers said they find requesting leave to be more stressful than asking for a pay rise.
Almost three out of 10 (29%) did say, however, that would take more leave if they knew their boss would not hold it against them.
More than a quarter (27%) said they would opt for more holidays if they knew they would not have to work longer hours before or right after their leave.
FOTAL is not only a problem for Australians; a YouGov survey commissioned by Wolters Kluwer found almost a third of British workers did not take their holiday entitlement last year.
Heavy workloads, schedule clashes and anxiety about taking time off work left people sitting at their desks.
FOTAL isn’t a clinical diagnosis, said Suzy Green, founder of the Positivity Institute, a research centre on the science of well-being, but it is common.
For bosses, giving more days off to keep employers happy and energised is one thing, getting them to enjoy the holidays is another.