Benefits & Compensation News

Employees’ top reactions to having to work on vacation

If retaining your best employees is a priority at your company, here’s one thing you may want to discourage supervisors from doing this summer: asking employees to work while on vacation.

That’s because only 14% of employees will do it happily, according to a new survey by TeamViewer, which produces online meeting software.

Other top employee reactions to being asked by their boss to work during their vacation:

  • 34% said they’d do the work, but not happily
  • 29% said they’d feel their boss didn’t respect their time
  • 24% said they’d worry about the boundaries of their personal life
  • 22% would flat out say “no”
  • 13% would turn off their personal devices and ignore the request, and
  • 11% would pretend to not see the request.

TeamViewer polled more than 2,000 adults to come up with this data.

One disturbing trend revealed

While this may not point out any surprising trends — as few would expect employees to embrace working on vacation — the survey did reveal one disturbing pattern: More employees are planning to work while on vacation, which, assuming the data above is accurate, could make for some very unhappy staffers.

In a similar survey released last summer by TeamViewer, 52% of Americans said they expected to work during their summer vacations. But this year that number rose to a whopping 61%, which means more employees expect their free time to be infringed upon.

As a result, this shouldn’t come as a surprise: 6% said they’d use their vacation to update their resume to look for a new job, and 3% said they’d quit their job.

What exactly do employees expect to have to do on vacation?

  • Read work-related email — 38%
  • Access a work-related document on their computer — 32%
  • Answer work-related phone calls — 30%
  • Receive work-related text messages — 24%, and
  • Conduct work passed along from a boss, client or colleague — 20%.

Gearing up

Another result of these expectations is that employees are gearing up to work on their so-called “time off.”

The vast majority (69%) say they’ll bring a work-capable device with them on vacation, and 61% plan to bring up to three devices with them — the most popular being a smartphone (carried by 40% of staffers), a laptop (39%) a desktop computer (24%) and a tablet (18%).

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