Are your employees taking their summer vacation?

A ‘simple change of pace’ can help staff unplug from the daily exigencies of work

Are your employees taking their summer vacation?

Are your employees taking a much-needed break this summer?

Despite COVID-19 crippling much of the travel industry this season, managers should encourage workers to take a breather, pull away from work, and make well-being a priority, an expert advises.

“For many, the pandemic has brought heightened concern in regard to careers, families, finances, and health,” said David King, senior district president of Robert Half Canada.

This “added pressure”, he said, is one reason employers should urge workers to go on vacation and unplug from the daily exigencies of work.

READ MORE: Microsoft and Google expand COVID-19 leave benefits

Because of the outbreak, however, about a third of Canadian employees (30%) are planning to take fewer days off in the summer months of June, July and August this year than they did in 2019, research from Robert Half showed.

  • 27% are looking forward to going on vacation – but only later in the year
  • 20% are hoping to go on a more budget-friendly summer vacation
  • 10% are too busy to take a break from work this season

Of those that will take a summer break, 29% are going on staycation for self-care – looking after their mental well-being, the study found.

“Companies are operating in overdrive these days, often trying to navigate shifting business demands with leaner teams – which can mean heavier workloads and longer days for their staff,” King said.

So, while summer vacations may “look a little different right now,” King believes it’s more important than ever for people to take time for themselves.

All it takes, he said, is for people to have “a simple change of pace” and a “chance to disconnect” so that they can avoid burnout and “return to work recharged, better focused and more engaged.”

READ MORE: Trudeau calls for paid sick leave to combat COVID-19 second wave

But managers also need to be proactive in promoting a culture of well-being – especially amid the pandemic, he said.

While some leaders (28%) have encouraged staff to take a breather, two-thirds of employees (67%) report they have not received any clear message about management policies on using their vacation leave credits. In fact, a minority 5% have even been “discouraged from taking time off” during the crisis, the study found.

“Employers need to encourage staff to make vacations, and their well-being, a priority,” King said.

“Managers should set the example by taking advantage of their own time off, and empower employees with more flexible deadlines and additional support while people are away, so that everyone is able to truly relax and unplug on their days off,” he said.

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