54% of employees say they have a hard time disconnecting from work during their time off. Employees often find themselves stressed about the work they will need to catch up on and how it may affect their advancement.  

To prevent burnout, employers need to encourage their workers to take a mental break from work during their vacation and time off. Here are some ways to encourage employees to fully unplug during their time off:  

Have managers set an example 

Managers need to encourage employees to disconnect from work during vacation, by doing it themselves. If employees see that their managers do not respond to work calls or emails when they take time off, they will feel more inclined to also disconnect. 

Another reason for employers to encourage their employees to unplug from work, is that working on vacation increases post-vacation quit rates. Employees that continue working during their time off are 36% more likely to quit due to ongoing stress.  

Provide clear expectations for time off 

Employees may feel more comfortable disconnecting from work during their time off if there are clear expectations in place. These expectations may include that employees are not required or encouraged to respond to emails, calls, or anything work related while on vacation or taking time off. You may also want to include plans for backup for each position, so everyone knows who they can go to if an employee is out.  

If workers are constantly reminded of these vacation expectations, it can help decrease the amount of guilt and stress employees feel when they are away from the office.  

Have a plan for catching up  

Many employees say they feel pressured to check in on their work during their time off. This pressure comes from the stress employees feel about the workload they will have to catch up on when they get back into the office.  

To help decrease the amount of stress employees feel during their time off, employers should consider providing a plan that helps employees catch up. For example, if an employee is planning to take a week off but still has a specific quota to reach, managers should consider lowering that quota for that specific month. This allows the employee to feel less stressed, but still provides them with an attainable goal.  

The blending of work and home life can be difficult for many people to navigate, so managers should encourage their employees to take a break from work during their time off. When employees fully disconnect from work during vacation, it decreases employee burnout, and increases their motivation when they return to work.