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Is The Remote Working Trend “Sucking Up” Office Employees’ Vacation Time?

Managers must encourage employees to physically and psychologically disconnect from work during holidays to promote employee wellness

Recently, I’ve seen many office employees continue to check their work email and messages when travelling. I believe this is due to the fear of losing associates during sabbaticals.

When they go out with me, they joke and drink, but five minutes later, I see their hands clutching computers or phones to check email, and I wonder why they can’t avoid work.

I questioned my pals directly, and their response was unsurprising: they work over the break to prevent feeling suffocated when they return to the office by arranging things remotely.

Qualtrics, a software business focused on customer experience, reported in a recent survey that almost half of American employees continue to work an hour every day while travelling. After the COVID-19 pandemic, this habit began to flourish as vacations grew more exotic than before. With a laptop and a Wi-Fi connection, employees may do any task from any location as long as they have access to the Internet.

Since the offices closed in March 2020, work has become a “ghost” that haunts workers in their homes until they go to sleep. The privilege to disengage while socialising no longer exists.

Consequently, the fear of falling behind is one of the primary reasons office employees cannot quit working. With the arrival of the summer tourist season, the already-desolate workplaces become even quieter. Because of the high volume, the operation has been relocated.

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30 per cent of Qualtrics poll respondents said that bosses and coworkers expect them to continue checking text messages and phone calls while abroad. In addition, 27 per cent are anticipated to react to emails, while 20 per cent are predicted to engage in an online meeting.

Achieving work-life balance

The boundary between work and personal life is becoming more porous. For example, the vacation is cancelled instantly when the manager writes an “urgent” email.

According to other research, the chance of disconnecting on leave varies by age and employment. Only 47 per cent of those between the ages of 21 and 25 can give up work entirely, compared to 65 per cent of those aged 45 and older. This may be because the remaining group’s responsibilities expand with seniority.

Teachers had the most significant trouble disconnecting from work, with 73 per cent of poll respondents stating that they find it challenging to ignore work-related emails even while on vacation. They were followed by attorneys (71 per cent), accounting specialists (59 per cent), finance professionals (55 per cent), and consultants (51 per cent).

In contrast to the areas above, employees in technology and healthcare find it simple to “leave work” and walk out.

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I believe it is normal for workers to work on holidays. However, this is seen as a harmful trait that leads to burnout and increases the likelihood of resignation.

According to a poll conducted by Recruitery, up to 30 per cent of employees claim they want to resign after returning to the workplace, and almost half have already done so. In an age of tiredness and emphasis on money, I believe that employees’ primary source of mental health issues is their employment.

I believe that for workers to enjoy an entire vacation, the manager must encourage subordinates to relax in the most comfortable manner possible and instil in them the attitude that “it’s acceptable if they want to ‘disappear’ for a few days.” Employers must also verify that they can pay applicants according to their Paid Time Off (PTO) policy.

Managers must encourage employees to physically and psychologically disconnect from work during holidays. Long-term stress may lead firms to lose employees to rivals that value employee wellness. PTO is not just a competitive advantage when it comes to recruiting but is also essential for preventing employee burnout.

Source: e27

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