New study suggests employers are “vacation shaming” their workers

(Jon Zimney/95.3 MNC)

A new study shows employers are spending more time encouraging their employees to take time off work.

It brings up what’s called “vacation shaming.” The definition of that has changed over the years.

“It used to be vacation shaming was the guilt of wanting to take time off and use your vacation time, but the term has evolved. The new definition is being more pressured by your company to take your days or take your time off,” said Sonda Sorg, recruiting manager at the global staffing firm Robert Half, in an interview with 93 WIBC’s Terri Stacy. Sorg says Robert Half specializes in helping people with their “hiring and job search needs” in the Indianapolis area.

Nearly 4 in 10 workers surveyed (38%) said their employer has encouraged them to take time off, up from 25% three months ago. Of those respondents, more than two thirds (68%) said their company has increased communication about the importance of using vacation days.

“I think employers, and I can speak for Robert Half, have realized the importance of employees being able to take time off. It’s been proven that time away from work certainly increases productivity and that’s really important to employers,” said Sorg.

Sorg said employers are asking their employees to take time off throughout the year as opposed to waiting until the very end of the year.

“A lot of employers are working with reduced staff now (because of the coronavirus) and can’t afford to have a lot of people holding on to those days until the very end of the year,” said Sorg.

Sorg said the biggest thing that stands out to her is that employees are still concerned about losing their job if they take time off. She believes there are things managers can do to alleviate those concerns and create a “vacation-taking culture.”

“Most importantly, managers need to lead by example and show that they can take time off and handle their work. Then they also need to work closely with their employees and help them distribute their workload. It is possible to show them they can be productive and have that balance of taking your time off,” said Sorg.

Sorg said there are other methods both employees and employers should consider.

“Some other options are rolling over some time into next year. Some employees will allow employees to cash out and get paid for the time that has not been used. Others are allowing employees to give time off to other colleagues,” said Sorg.

With the coronavirus forcing many people to work from home, Sorg believes remote work is here to stay.

“I think a lot of companies will go to a hybrid model where they will have offices open and they will have employees that do want to return to the office. That may be two days a week, five days a week, etc. But I think the hybrid model will definitely be something to watch out for in the future,” said Sorg.

You can see the full study here.

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