3 out of 4 of employees work during vacation, despite knowing they don't have to
- A new poll by the HR Certification Institute (HRCI) found that 75% of employees work while vacationing, even though half of non-essential staff say they don't believe they are expected to. HRCI polled 300 HR practitioners.
- According to the survey only 31% of employers have policies that discourage working during vacation. Survey results show that when there is a written policy discouraging work while on vacation only 10% of workers say they always or almost always work during their vacation. Without a policy in place, 21% of workers say they almost always work on vacation.
- “Most workers bring their laptops with their flip-flops on vacation. Employees are confounded by a mixed bag of written company policies, unspoken expectations, shared beliefs and poor examples set by CEOs and supervisors," HRCI researcher and spokesperson Barry Lawrence said.
With only one-third of employers discouraging workers from performing their jobs while vacationing, as HRCI's survey shows, it's not surprising that work and vacation have become indistinguishable. But by not taking time to refresh and regroup, employees can become over-stressed, even burned out. Stress leads to health problems, which, in turn, can increase absenteeism and lower productivity. This also means higher healthcare costs for employers.
HRCI's study confirms what many other studies have found: that employees are working around the clock. HR managers may want to discourage employers from working while taking time off by establishing mandatory vacation policies, but there are also simple cultural changes that can be made to ease problems. Leaders should be seen taking the time off they need and should be encouraging and supportive when an employee recognizes that it is time for him or her to take time off as well.