Majority of Canadians doing extra work before, after vacation: survey

Two-thirds (66 per cent) of working Canadians said they expect to do extra work either before or after their vacation, according to a survey by ADP Canada Co.

The survey, which polled more than 1,500 Canadians, found employees who put in extra time said they expect to spend an average of 16 additional hours before vacation and 17 hours after, for a total of 33 extra working hours. Last year, by comparison, employees expected to work a total of 23 additional hours before and after vacation.

“It’s troubling more Canadians are putting in extra hours and increasing the number of extra hours worked in order to take a vacation,” said Hendrik Steenkamp, ADP Canada’s director of human resources operations and advisory services, in a press release. “To avoid the effects of the time-off tax, employers should ensure their teams are properly resourced during vacation times.”

Read: Canadian workers want vacation, benefits plans and to work from home: survey

According to the survey, millennial and generation Z employees were slightly more likely (67 per cent) to spend extra time working before and after their vacation, compared to 63 per cent for people aged 35 and older.

It also found employees are increasingly failing to disconnect while away from the office. A majority (60 per cent) said they check in with work at least once while on vacation, while 39 per cent said they check in multiple times or even daily. Nearly half (48 per cent) of millennial and generation Z workers said they check in multiple times or daily, while 70 per cent of this age group said they check in at least once.

Read: Vacation shaming a rising workplace trend: study

“Managers should promote a healthy work-life balance by encouraging employees to disconnect while away, alleviating pressure to check in,” said Steenkamp. “This helps increase employee satisfaction and retention while reducing burnout and frustration.”

The survey also found 48 per cent of respondents take their full yearly vacation allowance. The most common reason, cited by 30 per cent of respondents, is they feel they have enough time off during the year and don’t need their full amount, followed by 25 per cent who said they’re stockpiling vacation days for the future and 22 per cent who said they don’t take all their vacation time because their workload is too high.

Workers aged 55 and older were much more likely (67 per cent) to take their vacation any time they wanted than those aged 54 and younger (43 per cent).

Read: Should employers help staff save for vacations?