Canadians not letting go of work on holiday

But more taking allotted vacation days: Survey
|hrreporter.com|Last Updated: 12/08/2011

Most employed Canadians (62 per cent) regularly or at least sometimes check in with work email or voicemail when they're on holidays, according to a Vacation Deprivation survey released by Expedia.ca.

However, Canadians were actually toward the bottom of the "I frequently check-in" list of the global study, ranking 14 out of 20 nations surveyed.

Respondents in India were most likely to touch base with the office while on vacation (89 per cent) followed closely by Italy (88 per cent) and France and Japan, which tied for third place at 87 per cent. Danes were least likely to check their work email or voicemail, with more than 50 per cent saying they never do it.

In Canada, British Columbia tops the charts with 68 per cent either regularly or sometimes checking into work. Quebecers, conversely, are at the bottom of the list at 58 per cent, found the survey of 1,080 Canadians.

There is a continuing trend of workers struggling to “power off” from work and instead focus on enjoying their vacation, said Sean Shannon, managing director of Expedia Canada. "For some, it's hard to not bring technology like smartphones with them to ensure projects are running smoothly back at the office, but we shouldn't underestimate the benefits of a vacation on our physical and mental well-being — both at home and at work."

However, a growing number of Canadians are taking nearly all the vacation time allotted by their employers. This year, respondents stated they planned on taking 15 of the their 16 allotted vacation days — an improvement over last year's survey which indicated Canadians left an average of five vacation days unused.

In Italy, workers left seven of 28 days untaken, followed by Japan where six out of 11 vacation days went unused. India took the third spot with workers giving back five of 25 vacation days to their employer, found the global survey of 7,803 adults.

Globally, and for the majority of Canadian employees, not being able to afford a getaway and insufficient planning time were the major deterrents from going on vacation, as cited by 26 and 14 per cent of Canadians, respectively. Being viewed negatively by the boss and overall lack of managerial support for taking vacation were other top vacation roadblocks, found Expedia.ca

Thirty-eight per cent of Canadians said they have had to cancel or postpone vacation plans because of work. Koreans fared the worst in this regard, with two-thirds having nixed or delayed a vacation because of work demands — and they only take an average of seven vacation days per year to begin with.

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