Charity urges businesses to let employees switch off over Christmas

Businesses are being urged to allow employees time to switch off over the Christmas break claiming that young professionals feel under pressure to work during their holidays, putting their mental health at risk.

According to new research from the City Mental Health Alliance (CMHA), up to a third of young professionals expect to be working during the Christmas holidays.

The research showed that around three-quarters of those planning to work over the holidays were doing so because they were concerned about meeting their employer’s expectations, and half have felt obliged to work beyond time-tabled office hours.

The survey revealed this was highest amongst those looking to work in the legal industry, where 35 per cent thought they would need to be available via email over the holidays.

Surprisingly, the survey found that 50 per cent of professionals in the financial, legal and professional services industry are expected to check their emails outside of working hours, while a further 44 per cent expect they will be required to respond to emails on the weekend.

Poppy Jaman, Chief Executive at CMHA, said: “Employers have an important role in supporting and promoting the mental health of their employees. It is vital that employers set appropriate expectations for new employees and recognise the need for uninterrupted annual leave and free time.

The research revealed that city workers are considered to experience higher than normal mental health problems.  Among the UK population in work, one in four people experience mental health issues, for city workers, this figure increases to almost half.

Mental health charity, Mind, says it is important to create clear boundaries between work and home, saying workers should try not to let work spill over into personal life.

They state that if people need to bring work home, they should designate a separate area for work and stick to it. Making it much easier, to separate your work and personal life.

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