Canadians struggle to disconnect from work while on vacation

68% of employees still engage in work-related activities while on vacation

Canadians struggle to disconnect from work while on vacation

Around 68% of American and Canadian employees admit to continuing work-related activities during their vacations, a recent study by US-based online education platform ELVTR said.

Findings showed that one in five employees were asked by their bosses and colleagues to continue checking their emails even while they were on vacation. 25% still received text messages, 28% still received emails, and 8% still received phone calls all relating to work.

“Alarmingly, workers are being pushed to the brink, with many sacrificing their well-deserved vacations and downtime in the name of productivity,” said ELVTR co-founder and CEO Roman Peskin.

In the survey, 57% of the respondents admitted to the anxiety they feel if they don’t check their work emails while on their vacation. 41% said that they felt guilty if they chose not to work while they were away. 35% reported that they felt as if they were still expected to work during vacation, which adds to the guilt if they decide not to.

One in four workers admit to contacting their colleagues who are taking their time off regarding work with 12% opting for emails, 10% through text messages, and 2% through both social media accounts and phone calls.

37% of the employees that chose to work even on their time off said it was mainly because they do not have someone else to take over their work for them while 8% expressed that it was due to their fear of losing their job.

The survey further showed that 37% of the surveyed Canadians are taking less vacations while 20% do not take a time off at all because of their understaffed companies.

ELVTR said that all of this was likely caused by the “live to work” attitude ingrained in the American workplace. Although, it is vital for employees to take breaks every so often as too much work can eventually lead to a burnout. A recent study from the Journal of Leisure Research said that engaging in leisure vacation can be beneficial to the well-being of an individual.

However, employees who complete work-related tasks while on a vacation can negatively impact their recovery from exhaustion, the Journal of Occupational and Organizational Psychology said in a recent study. It also further denoted that worries related to work can significantly reduce an employee’s relaxation during their time off.

ELVTR’s study showed the while the employees working even during their vacations, as well as those who do not take a time off at all, can provide relief for the workload of their companies, it may bear long-term effects to the entire workforce as the status of their mental health is on the line.