Should Your Employees Check In With Work While On Holiday

11 February, 2020
By Bryon in Human Resource

When your employees take personal time off, the organisation still runs as usual. Products and services need to be sold, clients’ queries need to be handled and administrative tasks needs to be taken care of. However, when employees go on a vacation, does this mean that they should still check in with work to ensure that business still runs as usual?


“Should” is the operative word

According to a survey conducted by Accountemps, it found that more than half (54%) of the employees surveyed typically check in with the office at least once or twice a week while they are on vacation. This seems to suggest that employees are unable to let go of work even while they are on their personal time-off.  The word “should” seems to suggest that employees are expected to check in with work even while on holiday. However, this should be a personal choice instead of an expectation. After all, employees are allowed to make their own decision as   to when they want to take some personal time off to relax and unwind. Likewise, it should be their own personal choice if they want to check in with work while on holiday or on their personal time off.

Nonetheless, some employees might find it extremely difficult to disconnect from work even while on holiday. Here are some ways to unplug from work while on vacation or how best to handle when work may seep in.

Refrain from sharing too much about your vacation

Sure, you are excited for your upcoming vacation and want to share it with your colleagues, supervisor - but maybe you should not. The more your co-workers or supervisors know about your vacation, the more he or she may feel that you are “reachable” whenever any office matters crop up.

Set up strategic out-of-office replies

Your out-of-office reply is a great way to let your co-workers or clients know that you are away and unable to attend to their email requests immediately. Vacation time is meant for you to disconnect from work and recharge. Hence, ensure that you do not break your own code and reply emails even when you have your out-of-office set up. At the same time, check in with your colleagues whether you can put their email as an alternative contact when you are away.

Sort work emails into important versus not important

Perhaps you are a workaholic who simply cannot unplug from work. Or perhaps there are some urgent work matters that require your immediate attention. If there is an absolute need to check your emails, learn how to prioritise the important ones over the not-so-important ones. That way, it provides you with a peace of mind and reduces your workload when you return from your vacation.

While it might be a good idea to implement a policy to ensure that employees truly unplug from work, this might create a divide between employees and management. At the same time, expectations have to match the message that the organisation is trying to drive. Instead of implementing a strict policy, employees and managers should come to an agreement on how to manage work situations and expectations when the employee is on vacation and vice versa.