BIMA Tech Inclusion & Diversity Report 2019

BIMA logo

The BIMA Tech Inclusion & Diversity Survey is not an attempt to add to the existing pile of census-type survey data but to do something that hasn’t been done before.

By asking employees of diverse age, race, and gender within the industry how they feel, the report explores the experience of being a member of the UK digital and technology community in 2019.

In late 2018 and early 2019, BIMA surveyed more than 3,000 people to explore their experience of diversity as members of the UK technology community.

Their responses showed that, from tackling stress, anxiety, and depression, to fighting discrimination and making more of untapped opportunities for talent and development, our industry has much to do.

DOWNLOAD THE FULL REPORT


TechWomen100 2019 winners

WeAreTechWomen celebrate emerging talent at the 2019 TechWomen100 Awards

Images from the We Are Tech 100 Awards, QE II Centre London 23Jan2020

WeAreTechWomen celebrated the winners of their 2019 TechWomen100 awards on 23 January, at a prestigious ceremony at the iconic Queen Elizabeth II Centre, Westminster, London.

Over winners, sponsors, judges and guests celebrated and enjoyed a three-course meal and champagne reception to toast the TechWomen100 finalists’ achievements. The evening was facilitated by Julia Streets, Founder, Streets Consulting and attendees were welcomed by Vanessa Vallely OBE, Managing Director, WeAreTheCity; headline sponsors, Karin Rossi, J.P. Morgan; and our education partners, Professor Sue Black OBE, Professor of Computer Science & Technology Evangelist, Speaker & Author and Professor Gordon Love, Durham University.

Kicking off the proceedings and inspiring the guests, Vallely said, “Let tonight’s awards be the platform you all spring from, to achieve more, to get your promotions, to help others thrive and be a beacon of light in the tech industry.”

Representatives of each of the award’s sponsors then invited winners to the stage, to collect their awards. Speakers praised the emerging talent within the room and called out for more women to put themselves forward for tech roles.

Debbie Forster MBE at the TechWomen100 Awards

To round off the evening, the Editors Choice Award was given to Debbie Forster MBE, Tech Talent Charter. Speaking of her award, Forster said, "I say this to every woman who carries the imposter, who feels that they don't deserve to be here, we all deserve to be in the room, we all deserve to be here, and we're going to change the world."

To close the night, guests were treated to a performance from Britain’s Got Talent Golden Buzzer Winners, Revelation Avenue, and invited to network, pose for photos against the TechWomen100 letters and celebrate their achievements.

The TechWomen100 awards are the first of their kind to focus solely on the female tech talent pipeline and to also recognise the impact of champions, companies and networks that are leading the way for future generations of tech talent.

Since August 2019, WeAreTechWomen has been searching the UK for the best female tech talent in the country. Now in its third year and with the support of headline sponsor J.P. Morgan, the awards received over 700 nominations from across the UK and Northern Ireland. Over 40,000 public votes of support were received for the 200 shortlisted nominees. In November, the shortlist was judged by our esteemed panel of judges who helped us identify our TechWomen100 winners.

You can find all of the winners here.


If you know an inspiring woman in tech then nominate them for a 2019 Rising Star Award in Digital, Technology or Science & Engineering!

Find out more about the awards here.


Happy New Year 2020

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year 2020

From all at WeAreTechWomen, we would like to wish all of our clients, members and visitors a very happy New Year and a great 2020!

WeAreTechWomen has had an incredible year, and earlier this week, we looked back at our top moments, as well as the top news stories, inspirational profiles, and careers advice of 2019.

You can view these articles below:

Looking back at 2019: Our top tech career advice articles

In our first installment of looking back at 2019, we delved into our favourite and inspiring career advice articles of the year.

WeAreTechWomen prides itself on having the answers you need to take the next step in your career. Our careers advice section offers the latest and most relevant tips on networking, legal advice, CV advice, interview advice and much more.

Looking back at 2019: Our top Inspirational Women in Tech interviews

We delved into our favourite and fascinating Inspirational Women & HeForShe interviews of the year.

Our Inspirational Women series of interviews aims to highlight amazing women across the globe, showcase their achievements and raise their profiles.

Looking back at 2019: Our top tech news stories of the year

Continuing on our series of looking back at the past year, we delve into some of the most important tech news stories of 2019.

This year has seen many organisations call for more women in tech and STEM; WeAreTechWomen became its own dedicated site in 2019; and we shined a spotlight on a further 100 amazing women in tech.


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Looking back at 2019: Our top tech news stories of the year

woman reading the news on her phone

Continuing on our series of looking back at the past year, we delve into some of our favourite and most important tech news stories of 2019.

This year has seen many organisations call for more women in tech and STEM; WeAreTechWomen became its own dedicated site in 2019; and we shined a spotlight on a further 100 amazing women in tech.

We look forward to bringing you all the latest tech news, debates and thought-provoking articles in 2020!

January

January started with a bang at WeAreTechWomen, with the celebration of our 2018 TechWomen100 Award winners.

On the 31 January, WeAreTechWomen celebrated the winners of their TechWomen100 awards, at a prestigious ceremony at etc. venues, County Hall, London.

Winners, sponsors, judges and guests celebrated and enjoyed a three-course meal and champagne reception to toast the TechWomen100 finalists’ achievements. The evening was facilitated by Kate Russell, Journalist, Author and Tech Reporter, BBC Click and attendees were welcomed by Vanessa Vallely, Managing Director, WeAreTheCity, and sponsors, Christina Hamilton, Senior Vice President Commercial Development UK & Europe, Worldpay.

WISE campaign featuredFebruary

In February, WISE called on the industry to inspire girls to choose STEM roles.

WISE, the campaign to improve gender balance in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM), launched a new online game called My Skills My Life, and called on industry to help change the way girls see STEM subjects and how they relate to careers that make a difference to the world.

The call came in response to research showing serious gaps in STEM roles; a survey of HR Directors suggested there is a shortage of 173,400 STEM workers across the UK, costing the economy £1.5bn each year.

Also in February, we asked our readers whether they could be the next Sky Women in Tech Scholar! Sky were on the hunt for five inspirational women to become their 2019 Sky Women in Technology Scholars.

Following the extraordinary success of the first Women in Tech Scholars programme, Sky expanded the scheme for a second time. In addition to winning a £25,000 bursary, the Women in Tech Scholars were paired with an expert mentor in their chosen field. Over the course of the one-year scheme, their mentor will be on hand to provide technical support as well as access to a network of business contacts to develop and nurture the talented entrepreneurs.

WeAreTechWomen logo featuredApril

April was a busy time at WeAreTechWomen HQ - we launched our brand new, dedicated, women in tech website, WeAreTechWomen.com. WeAreTechWomen.com aims to provide visibility of resources for women working in technology who wish to progress their careers and achieve their true potential.

We also announced our 2019 WeAreTechWomen - The Future World of Work conference. This conference was aimed at women working in the tech sector who are looking to broaden their technology horizons, learn new skills and build their technology networks. The theme for this year’s conference was The Future World of Work and how innovation and disruption is driving change within the tech industry.

Our aim was to inspire attendees by delivering bitesize learning sessions for our audience. With the help of our amazing speakers and panellists, we provided the opportunity for our delegates to learn about a broad range of technology topics as well as interact through panels, hands-on activities and workshops.

May

In May, it was reported that the UK remains a 'hot bed' for tech talent.

The research, conducted by Tech Nation, found that the UK is in front of Japan, France and Indonesia when it comes to employing high-growth tech workers.

In the UK, Insurtech and Fintech were the biggest employers among high-growth digital tech firms in 2018, employing 24 per cent and 18 per cent of the high-growth workforce respectively.

Cyber, AI, and Cleantech all feature in the top ten sectors for employment in high-growth tech firms. Investment data shows that AI, Cyber and Big Data are growing in importance for UK tech scaleups. This means that the UK may be about to see more jobs generated in these sectors.

Female EngineerJune

In June, the government called for more women to think about a career in engineering, highlighting them as 'an absolute necessity' for the future of transport.

Women currently represent just 12 per cent of the engineering workforce and 18 per cent of the transport sector workforce. Hiring more women is essential for the delivery of major transport infrastructure projects like HS2 and Heathrow expansion.

It is estimated that by 2033 there will be a combined shortfall of around 341,000 jobs in the sector.

The call followed the convening of a roundtable on women in transport this week by the Department for Transport’s Permanent Secretary Bernadette Kelly, attended by senior female leaders in the sector. Representatives from the Royal Academy of Engineering, Ford, Heathrow Airport, Network Rail, the Women in Maritime Taskforce, and Virgin Atlantic were present.

June also saw the Ministry of Defence appoint its first female Chief Scientific Adviser - Professor Dame Angela McLean.

McLean is the first female to hold the role and joins the Department as a distinguished academic with a commitment to science-driven policy. The MOD’s Chief Scientific Adviser (CSA) oversees the Department’s core research programme, leads technology strategy, and works closely with the Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (Dstl) to develop battle-winning capabilities.

TechWomen100 2019 featuredAugust

In August, we opened nominations for our 2019 TechWomen100 Awards.

Our awards focus solely on women working in tech below director level. We hope that by highlighting the accolades of up-and-coming inspirational female tech talent, we can help to create a new generation of female role models for the industry, and a pipeline of future leaders.

Through the awards, we also recognise a number of senior individuals who are championing up-and-coming women, as well as any organisations that have designed and implemented successful initiatives and programmes in order to attract, retain and develop the female tech talent.

Finally, we applaud the often-voluntary efforts of the women in tech networks that operate across the UK, and again would like to formerly recognise these within our awards.

The TechWomen100 awards are the first of their kind to focus solely on the female tech talent pipeline and recognise the impact of champions, companies and networks that are leading the way.

September

September saw 'Amazon Future Engineer' launch in the UK to help children and young adults from low-income backgrounds build careers in Computer Science.

The UK needs an additional 38,000 workers with computer science-related skills, including 21,000 computer science graduates, to meet labour demands every year – or the economy could lose out on an estimated £33 billion a year by 2030, according to research by Capital Economics.

To help close that gap, Amazon launched Amazon Future Engineer in the UK – a comprehensive childhood-to-career programme to inspire, educate, and enable children and young adults to try computer science. By supporting the recruitment and training of 50 secondary school computer science teachers and over 200 ‘Careers Leaders’, launching robotics workshops for 10,000 children and creating other opportunities to experience computer science, Amazon Future Engineer is set to reach more than one million children and young people across the UK over the next two years.

InnovateHer featuredOctober

In October, InnovateHer teamed up with Sony to bring its eight week technology programme for teenage girls to more locations across the country.

The Digital Bootcamp programme aims to give girls aged between 12-16 valuable tech and interpersonal skills, whilst encouraging them to consider STEM subjects and careers in tech.

Unfortunately, current statistics show that girls make up only 20% of computer science entries at GCSE, and just ten per cent at A-level, with nine times more boys than girls gaining an A level in Computer Science this year. InnovateHer, whose mission is “to get girls ready for the tech industry, and the industry ready for girls”, has promised to tackle these figures by working with schools to reach over 1,000 girls by 2020.

The after school programme will teach girls technical skills, build confidence, and highlight local opportunities within the tech and digital industries. The collaboration with PlayStation has allowed InnovateHer to extend the programme to new locations, including Guildford and London.

The bootcamp is set to launch in selected schools in January 2020, and graduates of the programme will have the opportunity to showcase the work they have produced at next year’s Develop conference in Brighton.

November

Monster Confidence Bootcamp launched in London in November, with the hope of boosting STEM confidence in girls.

Jobs site, Monster.co.uk, and social enterprise, Stemettes, took Monster Confidence on the road to show the next generation that girls do Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM) too, and give them the tools and confidence needed to secure a job.

Since launching the events in 2016, over 2,000 young women have attended to receive encouragement and guidance from industry experts on how to pursue careers and qualifications of their dreams within STEM fields. Monster Confidence will be hosting two further events this year across the UK where unemployment and is at its highest and social mobility at its lowest – Teesside and Peterborough.

Winners Banner with logo featuredDecember

In December, we announced our winners of the 2019 TechWomen100 Awards.

The winners of these awards showcase remarkable women within the technology and STEM sector including Alicia Carolina Beylan Navarrete, a Backend Software Engineer at Deliveroo who was recently awarded an exceptional talent visa sponsored by TechNation; Moriah Baxevane-Connell, a Cloud Consultant at Google, who works with customers across Europe to optimise their usage of Google Cloud Platform; Emma Lindley, an advisor and author on digital identity, and is also co-founder of Women in Identity, a not-for-profit organisation focused on developing talent and diversity in the identity industry; and Eva Meyer de Stadelhofen, Founder of GirlCode, an international non-profit and network which aims to reduce the gender gap in the STEM industry by teaching girls of age 8-17 how to code.


group-of-diverse-women-looking-at-camera-featured

Looking back at 2019: Our top Inspirational Women in Tech interviews

We delve into our favourite and fascinating Inspirational Women & HeForShe interviews of the year.

Our Inspirational Women series of interviews aims to highlight amazing women across the globe, showcase their achievements and raise their profiles.

Discover our editor's pick of inspirational tech interviews for 2019 below:

Anisah Osman Britton featuredInspirational Woman: Anisah Osman Britton | Founder & CEO, 23 Code Street

Anisah Osman Britton runs 23 Code Street.

In 2012 Anisah won the Young Entrepreneur Festival in London, which brought together 150 of the best young minds in the country.

Since leaving school, Anisah has pursued internships around the world, learnt to code, worked as ops director for a corporate accelerator and started 23 Code Street.

Anisah believes there are multiple routes to success, and that students need to be shown all possibilities.

Read Anisah's full interview here.


Jacqueline de Rojas featuredInspirational Woman: Jacqueline de Rojas CBE | President, techUK

Jacqueline is the President of techUK and the President of the Digital Leaders board.

She sits as a Non-Executive Director on the board of UK technology business Rightmove plc; on the board of Costain plc, which is committed to solving the nation’s Infrastructure problems; and is also on the board of the online retailer AO World plc. An advisor to fast moving tech businesses and a business mentor at Merryck offering board and executive level coaching. She is the co-chair at the Institute of Coding, advises the board of Accelerate-Her and is especially delighted to lend her support to the Girlguiding Association for technology transformation. Passionate about diversity and inclusion which informs where she places her support.

In 2016 she entered the @Computerweekly Hall of Fame after being voted Computer Weekly’s Most Influential Woman in IT 2015; she was listed on Debretts 2016 500 People of Influence – Digital & Social and named in Europe’s Inspiring Fifty most inspiring female role models for 2017. She was presented with the 2017 Catherine Variety award for Science and Technology and the 2018 Women in Tech Award for Advocate of the Year acknowledging her contribution to diversity. 2018 brought a nugget of acknowledgements including @womenoffuture Fifty #KindLeaders; 2018 @Inclusiveboards 100 BAME Leaders; 2018 Faces of Vibrant Digital Economy; 2018 @Computerweekly Most Influential People in UK IT.

Jacqueline was awarded CBE for Services to International Trade in Technology in the Queen’s New Year Honours list 2018.

Happily married to Roger Andrews, they have three children and a new baby grandson.

Read Jacqueline's full interview here.


Inspirational Woman: Olivia Sweeney | Aroma Chemicals Creative, Lush

Olivia, from Reading, has always been interested in sustainability and wanted to work for a company passionate about the environment.

Working for Lush and sourcing and creating their chemicals in a sustainable way has given Olivia the power to make a difference. Olivia is now an Aroma Chemicals Creative Buyer, sourcing and creating the natural and synthetic chemicals for fragrances of Lush’s soaps, bath bombs, shampoo bars… and everything else! She still gets to travel abroad, across Europe, Brazil and the USA to find the best materials and ingredients.

One of Olivia’s projects is figuring out the best way to process waste banana skins, not only getting the perfect banana smell, but in a sustainable and responsible way. She has helped to created a banana facial cleanser that will now be on shelves worldwide! She looks for ways to save energy and water in the making process while also making sure that the ingredients she works with are ethically sourced and cruelty free. For Olivia, chemical engineering means you can end up creating anything based on your own curiosity. Engineers are part of the modern world and help make dreams become reality with their problem-solving skills.

Read Olivia's full interview here.


Didem Un AtesInspirational Woman: Didem Un Ates | Senior Director, AI Customer & Partner Engagement, Microsoft

Following her Electrical Engineering and Management studies at the University of Pennsylvania, Didem started her career with management consulting at CapGemini and Motorola.

After graduating from Columbia Business School (CBS) in 2005, Didem continued her career at Greenwich Consulting (now part of EY) and British Telecom in London, UK.

Her passion for technology led her to join Microsoft’s Information & Content Experiences Group where she and her team signed c. 1,500 partnerships across 60 markets. She held other business development and partner management roles as part of Microsoft Accelerators and the Business AI teams. In her current role, Didem is focusing on scaling Microsoft’s SaaS AI solutions such as Dynamics Customer Service Insights and Virtual Agent.

Didem has 20+ years of multinational leadership experience in business development, management consulting, and product management in executing international roll outs, implementing new market entries, and building new revenue streams from disruptive technologies in EMEA, APAC, and LatAm.

Read Didem's full interview here.


Professor Sue Black featueredInspirational Woman: Professor Sue Black OBE | Professor of Computer Science and Technology Evangelist, UK Government Strategic Advisor, Women's Equality Party candidate for London Mayor 2020, Professional Speaker & Author

Sue Black is a leading academic, campaigner, and advisor to the UK Government.

Black is a Professor of Computer Science and Technology Evangelist at Durham University with more than 40 publications behind her as well as a PhD in software engineering.

Her academic career has seen her hold leadership posts at London South Bank University, University of Westminster and University College London.

A champion for women in computing, Black founded BCSWomen, the UK’s first online network for women in tech, and #techmums, a social enterprise which empowers mums and their families through technology. The activist is also widely known for her successful campaign to save Bletchley Park, the wartime campus where more than 5,000 women served as codebreakers.

A figurehead on numerous boards, Black is a Comic Relief Trustee and a mentor at Google Campus for Mums. She has previously been a L’Oréal UNESCO prize judge, an expert evaluator for the European Commission and a Nesta Crucible fellow.

Black was awarded an OBE for “services to technology” in 2016.

She today sits as a Women’s Equality Party candidate for London Mayor 2020.

Black is a self-confessed social media-holic. She is a mum of four and a grandmother of four.

Read Sue's full interview here.


Lea von Bidder featuredInspirational Woman: Lea von Bidder | Co-Founder & CEO, Ava

Lea von Bidder is Co-Founder; VP Marketing and President of Ava Science Inc.

The idea for the Ava bracelet came from Pascal Koenig, Philipp Tholen, Peter Stein and I (Lea) around five years ago when we were confronted with our own reproductive choices in the modern world. We almost immediately started consulting with several gynaecologists from around the world, mainly in Europe and the US, asking what is important for women’s reproductive health needs. When Pascal, Philipp, Peter and I founded Ava in 2014, it was with the mission to advance women’s reproductive health by bringing together artificial intelligence and clinical research. And I’m proud to share that we’ve just achieved a major milestone: Our clinical research has just been made public in a scientific paper published in the peer-reviewed Journal of Medical Internet Research. The paper demonstrates that five physiological signals change throughout the menstrual cycle, and that by tracking these signals, we can identify the fertile window of a woman’s cycle in real time. Our flagship product, the Ava fertility tracker, is the only fertility-tracking method available that measures all five of these signs.

We have around 120 employees worldwide distributed among Zurich, San Francisco, Belgrade, Makati and Hong Kong. Around 80 of these sit in our Headquarters in Zurich and work in various departments such as Clinical Team, Data Science Team, Product Team, Marketing as well as Customer Success.

We are proud to count over 20,000 pregnancies worldwide and 50 new pregnancies a day among our users

The tracking of a woman’s cycle, fertility, and pregnancy is just the start of many exciting possibilities. Ava continues to conduct clinical studies to improve its accuracy and increase its capabilities. Ava and the University Hospital of Zurich are conducting a new large cohort study with several sub-studies that will address topics such as irregular cycles and pregnancy complications. We are also working with several thought leaders to conduct studies in assisted reproduction and gestational hypertensive populations.

Our vision of wanting to be a long-term companion for women, providing data-driven and scientifically proven insights along all stages of their reproductive lives, as well as our mission, wanting to advance women’s reproductive health by bringing together artificial intelligence and clinical research, are our biggest drivers.

Read Lea's full interview here.


Kerrine Bryan featuredInspirational Woman: Kerrine Bryan | Award-winning engineer & founder of Butterfly Books

Kerrine Bryan – an award winning black female engineer and founder of Butterfly Books.

Kerrine has gone on to smash many glass ceilings to become respected in her field.

She was shortlisted in Management Today’s 35 Women Under 35 for notable women in business and, in 2015, she won the Precious Award for outstanding woman in STEM. Kerrine is a volunteer mentor for the Institute of Engineering & Technology (IET) and is an avid STEM Ambassador. It was while she was undertaking talks at various schools across the country for children about engineering and what her job entails that she became inspired to set up her independent publishing house, Butterfly Books.

In response to this, Kerrine published a series of books (My Mummy Is A Scientist, My Mummy Is An Engineer and My Mummy Is A Plumber) as a means of communicating to children a positive message about all kinds of professions, especially STEM careers, that are suffering skill gaps and diversity issues. The fourth book in the series, My Mummy Is A Farmer, launched last month – August 2018.

Read Kerrine's full interview here.


young woman on her phone commuting, career advice

Looking back at 2019: Our top tech career advice articles

young woman on her phone commuting, career advice

In our first installment of looking back at 2019, we delve into our favourite and inspiring career advice articles of the year.

WeAreTechWomen prides itself on having the answers you need to take the next step in your career. Our careers advice section offers the latest and most relevant tips on networking, legal advice, CV advice, interview advice and much more.

Job seeking

WeAreTechWomen has a plethora of articles focusing on job seeking – including interview advice, applying for jobs and improving your CV.

Below are just a few of our top articles to get you started:

Using social media to advance your career

How to find the right professional mentor

Five hacks for women to get ahead in STEM

Tackling the digital skills gap

How to gain free digital experience before you have a job

Tips for women in digital by women in digital

Bitesize Career Development

WeAreTechWomen also offers bitesize career development with short, easy to watch videos.

Click here to start watching our career videos.

Returning to work and returnships

Returnships and helping women return to work after taking a career break has been at the forefront of careers advice in 2019.

Whether you are a maternity returner or someone who has taken a career break, there are now a myriad of options which will enable you to return to work. These programmes include training, a chance to refresh skills and meet other women who are in a similar position.

We have a dedicated page for all our returnship programmes, flexible working advice and advice on returning to work.

Discover our returnships here.

Entrepreneurs

WeAreTechWomen has its own dedicated section for our tech entrepreneurs. Here you can discover the latest resources and campaigns open to entrepreneurs, as well as helpful advice articles to get you started.

Click here to discover our entrepreneurs section.

Networking

WeAreTechWomen has lots of advice and tips for productive networking sessions.

We also have a networking directory, which allows you to search for networks in your area and even coaches to gain one-to-one advice and mentoring.

You can find this directory here.

Careers Club

Don’t forget, we have a number of handy tools so that you can progress your career further. WeAreTheCity’s Careers Club provides online access to career development tools, alongside giving our members the ability to grow their personal networks.

If you are interested in taking your career to the next level and are self motivated and looking to meet like minded individuals, then this is the club for you.

We welcome women and men, of all backgrounds, at all levels, from all industries.

You can find out more and join here.

WeAreTechWomen Jobs

WeAreTechWomen Jobs was created to encourage more talented women to pursue their career aspirations and to connect job seekers with companies who are proactively recruiting women and supporting the development of more inclusive working environments.

You can discover a variety of different job roles from top companies such as Airbnb, PwC, Charlotte Tilbury, EY, Groupon, Secret Escapes and many more.

Click here to find your next role.


Muslim woman on computer

Five ways to boost your digital wellbeing in 2019

 

muslim woman working on the computer featured

As we enter 2019, the proliferation of digital devices means that we’re constantly connected to the office wherever we might be, making it difficult to switch off from work, even when we should.

In fact, a study by Glassdoor has shown the average number of UK employees taking their full annual leave is 62 per cent with only 43 per cent made use of 91-100 per cent of their holiday entitlement. What’s more 13 per cent reported only taking 20 per cent of their allowance.

Whether it’s a two-week holiday or a twenty-minute respite at lunch, John Williams, Head of Marketing at Instant Offices explains why 2019 should be the year to think about how to live healthily and happily by disconnecting from all  work-related screens and why this brings several important benefits, including increased productivity and overall happiness.

The Importance of a Well-Rested Employee

Although it may seem like a good thing from a productivity point of view, having employees constantly working can do your business more harm than good.

Further research found 23 per cent of those on holiday regularly checked their emails and 15 per cent admitted to doing some work out of fear of being behind on their return and missing targets. 20 per cent of employees surveyed also reported that they were expected to be reachable and available to carry out some work if needed.

The Office of National Statistics released figures that revealed three million UK employees work more than 48 hours a week, a rise of a quarter of a million since 2001.

Continuing to work over their holiday means that workers don’t get a chance to fully recover from the stresses of office life, and in the end, productivity and creativity can suffer when drained employees come back to work.

This is, of course, not even taking into account the health benefits of a holiday – stress and exhaustion take an incredible toll on the body, and overworked employees may end up taking more sick leave throughout the year. Finally, allowing employees time off to relax can result in an all-around boost for office morale.

Tips for a Digital Disconnect

  • Respect other people’s schedules. Don’t bother them with emails or calls when they have taken time off unless the matter is extremely urgent.
  • Prioritise your workload. If you absolutely have to work on your holiday, spend time on the important tasks only, and leave less important matters for when you are back in the office.
  • Set up an auto-reply on your email. This way, people who send you messages are alerted to the fact that you are on holiday. Provide a contact number for someone else in the office, who can be contacted if the issue is urgent.
  • Tell your colleagues that you’ll be going away. This may seem obvious, but alert others in your office that you are going on holiday. Sort out the most important projects before you leave, and let colleagues know that you will be unlikely to reply to work communications while away.
  • Avoid constantly checking your devices while on holiday. If you absolutely have to remain connected to work while on holiday, allocate a specific day, or a certain time of day when you will check and reply to emails, text messages and missed calls.

Indeed, many holiday retreats all over the world are now offering “digital detoxes”, where there is no Wi-Fi signal and visitors are encouraged to hand over their electronic devices.

Daily Work Breaks

It’s not just time off work that’s important – taking a proper lunch break every day is also beneficial.  And by “proper” lunch break, we mean moving away from your desk or your office cubicle. According to Forbes, incorporating an hour or half hour break into your daily work schedule can boost one’s energy levels, improve your mood, and provide additional morning motivation as you work towards your break.