The ‘Always-On’ Culture is Not Sustainable (or Beneficial)

22 April 2019 | Katy Ratican

Two in five UK employees took a maximum of just half of their annual leave entitlement in 2018, according to the results of a survey by Glassdoor.

The average figure of holiday taken by UK employees was 62 percent, while 91-100 percent of holiday entitlement was taken by 43 percent. Astonishingly, 13 percent of people reported taking only 20 percent of their allowance.

Just because we now live in a world where smartphones have made it easier than ever to access work emails and shared documents 24/7, it doesn’t mean we should do so. The ‘always-on’ culture in which we live is detrimental to both our physical and mental wellbeing.

The true impact of an always-on culture:

  • Poor quality of sleep
  • Increased stress levels
  • Exhaustion and burnout
  • Spending less time with loved ones
  • No time for enjoyable hobbies

If your work-life balance is non-existent, and you find yourself checking your work emails in the evenings and at weekends, it’s a cause for concern. Technology isn’t the necessarily the enemy; it has opened us up to a world of fantastic opportunities. But with that comes sky-high expectations that we should be available, no matter what.

Work-life balance is hugely important and key to positive mental wellbeing. This balance doesn’t just benefit employees, it benefits businesses too. Overworked staff are tired, on the brink of burnout, and as a result will be less productive. Enlightened employers are already recognising the importance of staff being able to switch off and are implementing modern meditation in the workplace.

Employers should lead by example

Josh Krichefski, CEO of MediaCom UK, Britain’s biggest advertising-buying agency, introduced a rule that banned internal emails after 7pm and at weekends. Marketing agency Carat have the ‘Phone Hotel‘, an initiative where employees are encouraged to deposit their work phones before going on holiday to ensure they switch off from work.

Businesses that offer flexible working can also help employees to better shape their work around their personal life. But managers must practice what they preach; it’s part of being a good manager.

If you struggle to maintain a good work-life balance, or you’re an employer concerned about a member of staff, it’s important to begin with an open conversation. Consider bringing modern meditation into the workplace. By investing in your people, you can:

  • Help to reduce workplace stress
  • Build resilience
  • Increase insight and creativity
  • Strengthen focus and purpose
  • Improve productivity

Find out more about beanddo’s modern meditation for business programmes.

Other articles you might be interested in…

Why meditation could make you a better colleague

How to manage work-related stress