Most Canadians working extra time before, after vacation

Canadians are putting in an average of 11.4 hours of extra work around vacation time, according to a recent survey from ADP Canada Co.

The survey found about 70 per cent of Canadians are doing extra work before and/or after a one-week vacation. On average, Canadians are putting in more than 11 extra hours of work. The number, however, is a substantial drop from the 21 extra hours Canadians reported working around vacations in the previous year’s survey.

Read: Canadians work an extra 21 hours before and after a week of vacation: study

The survey also discovered two-thirds of Canadians don’t take all of their vacation time. In fact, more than 25 per cent of respondents took less than half of their vacation days. Women were less likely to take all of their vacation days, with only 31 per cent saying they did so and 55 per cent using more than half of their allotted time off. As for men, 69 per cent reported taking more than half of their vacation days. Just 37 per cent take all of their vacation time.

“It can be exhausting to prepare for a vacation, both personally and professionally,” David Heather, vice-president of people and human resources at ADP Canada, said in a statement. “It’s encouraging to see people working fewer extra hours to prepare for a break from work. This year, we have seen an emerging trend of companies adopting more flexible vacation policies. Many are moving away from a ‘one size fits all’ approach to more personalization. This includes a small number of employers offering unlimited vacation or the ability to ‘flex’ your own holiday entitlement.”

Read: How can employers encourage employees to take vacation?

Other findings in the survey show that workers between the ages of 35 and 44 needed the most time — more than 13 hours, on average — to catch up before or after a vacation. Quebec employees reported the lowest average time needed to catch up, at just over 10 hours. Western Canadians reported the highest average time, at almost 13 hours. However, western and eastern Canadians were most likely to take all of their vacation time.

“Employers have an obligation to ensure their employees are able to use vacation time to unwind and recharge,” said Heather. “Organizations can create a more positive outlook on vacation among employees by communicating vacation policies proactively, encouraging staff to book time off and leading by example. This is especially important as employers ask themselves how to set the right tone for employees and be successful in 2018.”

Read: 37 per cent of Canadians cite improved work-life balance: survey