The summer vacation period is under way and tens of thousands of Quebec workers are preparing to enjoy it. However, 25% of them will have to work during their holidays. These are the findings of a CROP survey conducted for the Ordre des CRHA et CRIA du Québec (ORHRI) in June 2008.
Taking their work with them…
According to the CROP survey, one-quarter of workers say they usually have to work during their vacation. For example, they have to pick up their messages and e-mails, respond to emergencies, read documents or be available for work.
The trend is even more pronounced among more educated workers (37%) and non-Francophones (39%).
“This practice can be insidious. Some employees may feel guilty about leaving a project unfinished, worry about being swamped on their return, or wish to impress their employer by taking their work with them. Nonetheless, it’s definitely a practice to be avoided. It’s important for employees’ physical and mental health for them to take time off and really leave their work behind. Vacations also have a positive impact on productivity,” explained Florent Francoeur, CHRP, president and CEO of the Ordre.
A valued practice in the workplace?
Even though employers don’t require their employees to work during their vacations, it can become part of the culture within certain organizations. The survey shows that only 15% of workers feel their employers expect them to work or be available during their vacations. In contrast, close to one-third (32%) believe that working during the holidays is valued or viewed as positive in their workplace. This figure climbs to 37% among men and to 51% among non-Francophones.
“It should be remembered that this practice has negative spin-offs. Even though some employers can see short-term advantages, it will cost them more over the medium-term. They’re exposing their organization to increased absenteeism or even flagging employee motivation. That’s why it’s important to adopt management practices that promote a better balance between work and personal life,” concluded Francoeur.
To learn more…
Download the results of the CROP survey (in French only).