4 in 10 Aussies checking work emails while on leave: survey

'With our addiction to phones and devices, it has become effortless to stay in touch'

4 in 10 Aussies checking work emails while on leave: survey

Four in 10 employees across Australia are still checking their work emails even when on annual leave, according to a new report from Robert Walters.

The report found that employees are using their holiday time to catch up on work-related tasks as 63% don't feel like their annual leave entitlement is enough to switch off and take a break.

And nearly three-quarters (71%) of employees say they don't feel "refreshed" after returning from an annual leave break, according to the report.

Blurring work-life boundaries

Shay Peters, CEO of Robert Walters ANZ, attributed the situation to various factors, such as blurring work-life boundaries due to technology.

"For some, it's about avoiding the overwhelming inbox upon their return from vacation and the subsequent catch-up required. For others, the convenience of staying connected plays a role," Peters said in a statement.

"Nowadays, with our addiction to phones and devices, it has become effortless to stay in touch. The lines between work and home life have become so intertwined that they are merging into one."

Peters said employers seeking to attract and retain staff must adopt a culture that respects work-life boundaries.

"This means setting clear boundaries between work and holidays and making sure employers respect these requirements," he said.

Right to disconnect law

In Australia, lawmakers passed a new Right to Disconnect that will allow employees to ignore attempts of work-related contacts outside their shifts.

Peters said employees will gain from the implementation of the legislation.

"It prompts employers and managers to reflect on the appropriateness of making work-related requests once the employee has finished their workday or is on holiday," he said.

"Whether an individual employee chooses to take advantage of this new legislation will vary, but I believe it will certainly discourage managers from contacting their staff outside of their designated work hours."

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