Workers on vacation want to unplug at their own pace, study shows
- Project: Time Off released a new report showing that only 27% of U.S. workers cut all technical ties to the office while vacationing. The Tethered Vacation report also found that nearly half (46%) of employees check into work occasionally, while others (27%) check in frequently. The agency polled 2,598 U.S. employees with remote access to their work.
- Study results indicate that employees connect to work for peace of mind that their jobs are okay, with the majority (78%) saying that they want to be able to connect whenever they decide to do so.
- Although vacationing workers are prone to plugging into work, the study shows that sufficient vacation time is a major driver of talent attraction and retention. Workers rank vacation as among their most desired workplace benefits (19%), with healthcare second (36%). And 40% of employees in cultures that don't support unplugging are looking or planning to look for a new job within the next year.
An HR Certification Institute (HRCI) poll released in August found that 75% of employees work while vacationing, even though one-half of non-essential workers said they’re not expected or required to. Employees who don’t fully unplug — to, say, clean out emails — may actually be doing so to reduce their stress upon returning.
But if they work in a culture that makes them feel guilty about taking time off or are worried that their work could be jeopardized and therefore needs monitoring, that could be a troubling sign for the company's culture. The problem is often exacerbated for remote workers, who may struggle even on a day-to-day basis to separate work from life.
By not taking time away from work, employees forfeit time to regroup and refresh. Tired workers become stressed out workers who are vulnerable to health problems, leading to absenteeism and lower productivity that impacts both employer and employee.
Some firms have experimented with mandatory vacation periods as a way to try and kickstart a culture that is more respectful toward taking proper time off. As with most solutions, the best way to start may be asking employees what they are looking for out of a paid time off plan.
- Project: Time Off New Report Finds Only One-In-Four Employees Unplug During Vacation