1 in 4 British Employees Asked To Work Throughout Their Summer Vacations

A new study conducted by ELVTR, an online learning platform, shows that of 2000 employees, 1 in 4 are required to check their emails during their vacation periods while 24% are constantly being texted by their jobs while off.

The study shows that, apart from email notifications, 23% of respondents report receiving work-related communications via social networks or phone calls during their breaks. As a result, 1 in 3 workers feel an obligation to work even when on leave.

Consequently, the study found that two-thirds of British employees continue working during vacations, which reportedly leads to dissatisfaction among half of their travel companions.

Research also shows that 49% of employees feel anxious if they do not monitor their work emails regularly. A close 44% have a hard time turning off their work devices during their breaks and downtime.

What Experts Have To Say

Business productivity expert and Founder of OKR Software company Board, Viktor Grekov: “Sacrificing personal time to maintain job security is a common occurrence during financial crises. However, this can have devastating consequences for both employees and employers. Short term, workers suffer from increased stress and health issues, reduced productivity and, subsequently, fewer growth opportunities.

Long term, innovation is stifled with the workforce focused on its own problems, turnover rates skyrocket as workers seek better work-life balance elsewhere, and employers get a reputation for disrupting their employees’ personal time — and these issues will continue to impact businesses long after economic conditions improve.

When faced with immediate challenges, businesses cannot lose sight of their long-term goals. Encouraging employees to sacrifice their personal time won’t save your business… You’re simply delaying the productivity loss.”


Work-life Balance

The study further illustrates 1 in 3 workers admitted they bother their vacationing colleagues: 14% by text messages, 12% via social media or phone calls, and 11% by email. As a result, this lack of work-life balance takes a toll on the workers’ well–being as 73% of workers feel guilty while working on vacations, and 37% feel guilty if they don’t.

Viktor added, “Businesses should make clear that they do not condone encroaching on employees’ time off by putting comprehensive policies and procedures in place regarding absences. While having no one to delegate tasks to is the biggest cause of overworking, with a comprehensive strategy and system in place to ensure entire teams are working towards the same goals, there is no reason why one person’s absence should cause progress to ground to a halt.

The responsibility then falls on managers to lead by example. Take your vacation, make clear who to contact in your absence, set your boundaries before you leave, and offer the same respect to your colleagues when they’re away.

For teams that find it difficult to disconnect, company-wide holidays and half days can provide relief. With entire teams away from the office, there’s far less chance of unwanted interruption.

Of course, businesses should always keep an eye on the numbers and rework their policies if productivity is in free fall. However, denying employees a break is never a sustainable solution — unless your company-wide goal is mass burnout and unending delays”

The Economy-related Influence

Most workers are either obligated or feel inclined to work during their vacation due to economic influences such as the recession and economic downturn, with the rising cost of living in Britain. 39% of workers agreed that staff shortages due to the recent and continued company layoffs is the main reason they work during their vacations while 5% are afraid of losing their own jobs.

As a result, 35% of workers are deciding to take less time off and 12% are not able to take any time off at all.

Co-founder and CEO of ELVTR, Roman Peskin added: “Alarmingly, workers are being pushed to the brink, with many sacrificing their well-deserved vacations and downtime in the name of productivity. It’s high time we hit the ‘pause’ button on this relentless race.

We at ELVTR urge employers and employees alike to join forces in tackling this work-life balance crisis head-on and let’s transform the way we approach time off. After all, a rested mind is a creative and effective one!”

Companies should prioritise the creation of working policies and environments that take into consideration the physical, mental, and emotional well-being of their employees. Establishing equitable solutions that consider the interests of both the business and the employee is important as neglecting employee well-being could lead to a potential drop in company productivity and overall work ethic.

Employees are also encouraged to understand their rights, set personal boundaries, and collaborate as a team to promote a balanced work-life environment for everyone.