Of those surveyed that did use their allowance, 23% regularly checked emails, and 15% continued working through fear of getting behind and the consequences of not hitting targets.
Although some UK employees may be using their full annual leave allowance, the research suggested employees still struggle to unwind. Just half of the employees polled (50%) said they could completely ‘check out’ and that there was ‘no expectation to be reachable’. More women (52%) than men (46%) said they could completely ‘check out’.
Additionally, the survey found that 20% of the UK workforce was expected to be reachable and aware of work issues if needed, with 16% of women and 14% of men working on holiday for fear of falling behind. Nearly a quarter (23%) of the youngest demographic (18- to 24-years-old) claimed their bosses regularly contacted them while on holiday, the highest among all age groups surveyed.
A high number of managers felt it was appropriate to communicate with their employees while on holiday, with 15% of respondents saying they were contacted by their boss about a work matter. An even higher number (20%) said the same about fellow colleagues. Nearly a quarter (23%) admitted to checking work emails while being away, and 8% reported answering emails while under the influence of alcohol.
John Lamphiere, VP and managing director, EMEA at Glassdoor, said employees need to start having conversations on work/life balance with managers.
"Employees need to have candid conversations with their managers about how they can achieve a better work/life balance and book their remaining time now to avoid burnout further down the line,” he said.
“The fact that 40% of us take a maximum of just half our holiday allowance and a significant amount feel they need to work while being away is not a good long-term solution and will only result in employees who may want to jump ship. Take a day to plan out your holidays, create a schedule that works for you and your employer, then stick to it. If you don't do it now it may never happen."
Glassdoor surveyed 2,000 UK employees.