For work-life balance, workers often need bosses to come to the rescue

Employees' ongoing struggle to balance work with time off is significantly impacted by their boss, according to Randstad US' latest Employee Engagement Study. Randstad's survey found more than one-third of U.S. employees (39%) don't believe their bosses encourage them to take allotted vacation days, and almost half (45%) say their bosses don't help them disconnect from work while on vacation.

With nearly half of employees (41%) believing work-life balance is impossible to achieve, Randstad's study found the relationship between employees and employers is a vital factor that influences both vacation etiquette and overall workplace happiness.

Employers who proactively maintain positive relationships with employees and encourage them to use allotted vacation time are more likely to boost company morale, reduce turnover, and increase productivity: all of which can positively impact a company's bottom line.

More findings:

  • Vacations can be stressful. Nearly half of employees (49%) feel stressed after they return from vacation. In fact, 46% say they worry about work while on vacation.
  • Hold the vacation. More than 1 in 3 employees (38%) believe taking fewer vacations makes them look better in the eyes of their boss.
  • Change of plans. More than 1 in 3 employees (36%) have had to cancel vacation plans due to work.
  • Money does not (always) buy happiness. More than 1 in 4 employees (28%) would rather have a better boss than a $5,000 raise. Happiness is so important that more than 1 in 3 employees (36%) would give up $5,000 a year in salary to be happier at work.

"It's essential employees feel empowered to take a break from their jobs, and managers should take note of these study findings to determine whether their company's culture truly supports and allows the opportunity for this," said Jim Link, chief HR officer, Randstad North America. "There is no doubt taking time off to unwind is healthy and ultimately better for the organization.

"Vacations make for more productive and engaged workers, and yet 42% of employees don't believe their employers help them achieve work-life balance and 39% don't feel their managers encourage them to utilize vacation time: therefore, bosses who proactively encourage workers to unplug, unwind, and truly leave work behind to enjoy time off will be looked upon as workplace heroes."

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