Written by Richard Rowell
Published on July 16, 2010

Current work practices in the UK are not working - and the idea of multitasking in the workplace is a myth, according to new findings. So reads an Excellent Article this month in HR Magazine.

The research undertaken on senior and executive positions by The Energy Project Europe revealed some startling findings.

  • 87% admitted checking emails on holidays and days off
  • 55% fail to take their full leave entitlement each year
  • 5% are missing out on over two weeks' leave
  • 66% of employees go just two hours without email
  • 62% don't have enough time for family and friends
  • 54% spend less than two hours a day with family and friends
  • 62% feel the need to take alcohol to relax.

The research goes on to say that because of the actual lack of focus that this style of working requires staff are missing out on a proper lunch break and wasting over a day a week, due to unnecessary and unproductive work. This can add up up to an amazing 11 weeks wasted each year.

Jean Gomes, who chaors the Energy Project Europe, said: "The survey confirms the growing realisation that we're not designed to work like computers. While many of us have negatively and unconsciously adapted to the notion of 'internet time' - the expectation that we should always be on - we only truly perform at our best when we regularly renew. It's a myth that top performers are at their best with no sleep, no holidays and no breaks during the day. They all recognise that they excel only when they balance working and recovery. What our work says is that we need to turn conventional wisdom on its head."

"In our experience, the very top performers across all disciplines employ recovery as the means to achieving the best performance. The fact that it leads to a happier and more satisfying life all round should be embraced by employers looking to find some positive news in these challenging economic times."