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Guilty vacation syndrome affects two-thirds of employees



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It’s official: Guilty vacation syndrome is an actual phenomenon. And no more so than in asset-rich, time-poor Asian countries like Hong Kong and Singapore.

The research by Perkbox that supports this – which surveyed 1,342 people – found that so-called guilty vacation syndrome, most frequently felt by those that most need a holiday and despite this feel like they shouldn’t take one, is reaching epidemic levels. To be exact, 67 % of employed females and 59% of employed males in the UK have experienced it in the last year.

Perhaps not surprisingly, the figures get notably worse as employees take on more senior roles and are felt by a massive 92% of C-suite level management. People managers follow shortly after with 77% at senior level and 71% at mid-management level. This is in contrast to 60% of those at intermediate positions and 57% at entry-level positions, although these figures are still alarmingly high.

When it comes to reasons for experiencing guilty vacation syndrome – some of the key ones  cited by those surveyed include – ‘useless co-workers’, ‘knowing you can do the job better than your co-workers’ and ‘taking holidays during a busy time for the business’ suggesting a potential link between guilty vacation syndrome and poor management. What’s more, it could be signaling a link between the rise of burnout and the increasing number of employees taking on senior-level positions prematurely.

So what can managers do to help alleviate this syndrome sweeping across workplaces?

Firstly, 34% of employees agree that something as simple as creating a good handover and out of office so that people know what to do in their absence helps them feel calmer and as a result feel that they can properly switch off on vacation. Yet, one in five employees surveyed said their managers don’t lead by example, making it hard for those below them to follow.

Further solutions to reduce burnout include those which take place when actually on holiday such as removing email notifications from our phones to avoid temptation, something favoured by 27% of employees, or knowing how to delegate the long list of things left to do before leaving, preferred by 2% and very closely linked to the idea of creating a good handover.

Need to plan your next break? Click below for our handy guide of upcoming public holidays for 2020.

ALSO READ: Hong Kong’s list of 2020 public holidays

This article was first published on thehrdirector website.

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