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5 signs you could be a victim of ‘leavism’

According to new research* from the CIPD (Chartered Institute of Personal Development), 69% of employees have said ‘leavism’ has occurred in their workplace in the past year.

So what exactly does ‘leavism’ mean? And could you unknowingly be suffering from it?

It’s the latest coined phrase to define working during non-paid hours or annual leave.

Here’s 5 signs you could be a victim, and expert advice on how to prevent it from Richard Holmes, Director of Wellbeing at Westfield Health.

  • You’re constantly checking your emails

One of the biggest indicators you’re a victim of ‘leavism’ is that you can’t be without your phone, and you’re constantly checking emails. Even when you’re not there, you can’t help but keep track of what’s going on back in the office.

  • You’re too scared to book a holiday

Research shows almost a quarter (23%) of workers in the UK struggle to book time off**. Another common trait of leavism is not taking your allocated annual leave, because you’re too anxious to leave work in other people’s hands.

  • You don’t trust your colleagues 

You don’t have faith in your colleagues to take control whilst you’re not there. You’re so used to giving yourself full responsibility for jobs, you pile on the pressure as a result of not delegating.

  • You cancel your annual leave last minute

Even if you have booked holidays in, you end up cancelling them when important days at work crop up during the time you’d be away.

  • You’ve failed to meet a deadline 

Before taking annual leave, you’re unprepared and haven’t managed to get through all the tasks on your list. Instead of handing them over to a colleague, you take them on holiday with you and finish them off then.

Does any of the above sound familiar?

For your mental and physical wellbeing, taking a break from work is vital. Westfield Health’s Director of Wellbeing, Richard Holmes explains how and why it’s important to switch off on holiday:

“In today’s always on, digital world, it’s easy to think that you need to be available 24/7. But this can lead to stress and anxiety that will ultimately cause your productivity to decrease. Your out of office email replies are there for a reason, so switch off your phone, don’t pack your laptop and remove yourself from work.

“Before you go on holiday, create a routine and stick to it. Set aside time in each day for activities like exercise and have these as your dedicated non-working hours.

“At work, you should never be afraid to say ‘no’. Constantly saying ‘yes’ when you already have a high workload piles on the pressure and is a slippery slope to more unhappiness. Don’t be afraid to delegate. Share your workload and communicate as much as possible, so that when you do go away, everyone knows what you’ve been working on and handing responsibility over becomes easy.

“Work is important, it pays the bills and keeps a roof over your head, but it isn’t everything. Taking time to relax, recharge and take a break is crucial.”

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