A simple break helps people get back into work

Nottingham University Study Paper released

New research on social tourism from Nottingham University Business School has examined the links between holiday breaks and improvements in attitudes towards unemployment and job search behaviours.

Konstantinos Kakoudakis

Konstantinos Kakoudakis, left, with charity Director John Mcdonald

Konstantinos Kakoudakis, a PhD student at Nottingham University, was a regular visitor to the charity’s offices while he worked on the research for his thesis. The study, conducted over three years (2011-2014), amongst low-income families suffering from unemployment and related issues, found that holiday breaks boosted psychological health, contributed to positive changes in job search behaviour, and changes in behaviours towards alternative paths to employment, such as volunteering.

Read the report by Konstantinos

Kostas described the results as potentially very important as he was able to demonstrate how a short break could make a significant difference to the way individuals perceived themselves. This is known as self-efficacy and is defined as the extent or strength of one’s belief in one’s own ability to complete tasks and reach goals.
Self-efficacy was shown to improve to such an extent that individuals felt better able to both search for vacancies and secure employment. Even where family circumstances, ill-health or child-care responsibilities, precluded full-time employment individuals took up volunteering or further education.

These positive effects were found to last up to six months after the holidays. The study findings suggest that improvements in unemployed people’s psychological health are due to the transition from everyday environments, which are typically fairly deprived, to the enabling environments and safe spaces that these holidays create.In turn, improved psychological health has a positive effect on their job search, and other related behaviours.

These findings offer important insights for policy-makers as these behavioural changes comprise major determinants of finding work.

Search: Social Tourism, Holidays Matter